You can make a personal injury claim if you have been injured through no fault of your own, and you are within the time limit for making an accident claim.
Personal injury solicitors Leeds – how can we help?
If you have been injured and someone else is to blame, you could be entitled to make a personal injury claim. To find out for certain, we recommend contacting our personal injury solicitors straightaway.
Your initial enquiry is completely free of charge. This gives you the chance to find out exactly whether or not you have grounds for a personal injury claim. The laws surrounding personal injury claims are complex. It is not always easy for the layperson to establish whether they are eligible to receive compensation – especially if those at fault deny any wrongdoing.
We will talk to you about your accident. During this conversation, we will establish if:
- You were owed a duty of care
- This duty of care was breached
- This breach of duty caused you to suffer an injury
- You are within the time limit for making a claim
Were you owed a duty of care?
While you might not realise it, there are numerous occasions in which you are owed a duty of care.
Road users, for example, owe other road users a duty of care. This means we must all drive with due care and attention, so as not to cause harm to others. Your employer owes you a duty of care. This is a legal requirement which stipulates they must protect your health and safety while you perform your work duties.
Public places owe those who use them a duty of care. This means those who manage areas accessed by the public must take reasonable steps to minimise potential risks. Therefore, our first task is to establish who was at fault for your accident and whether he/she/they owed you a duty of care. If so, the next question is whether or not this duty of care was breached.
Was this duty of care breached?
There are various ways in which a duty of care might be breached. It all depends on the situation. Broadly speaking, it means that reasonable steps were not taken to prevent foreseeable injuries. Or in other words, someone else is at fault for your accident – but it could have been avoided, had the correct course of action been followed.
Think about a driver who knowingly runs a red light, causing him to collide with your car. The driver has not kept to the Highway Code, which he could reasonably assume would lead to a car accident. The driver has, therefore, breached his duty of care towards you.
Or, what about an employer who fails to implement the correct health and safety regulations? Perhaps you are asked to use a piece of machinery without the proper protective equipment, leading to an injury. Again, this amounts to a breach of duty of care.
Finally, consider a supermarket which fails to signpost a wet floor, causing you to slip. The supermarket has failed to take reasonable steps to warn you of the hazards, thereby breaching its duty of care towards its customers.
We will assess the actions of those who caused your accident, confirming whether or not a duty of care has been breached. If it has, the next question is whether this breach caused you to suffer an injury?
Did this breach cause you an injury?
To be able to make a claim, you must have suffered some kind of injury. This might be a physical, psychological or financial injury. You must also be able to link the breach of duty to your injuries. This is known as proving causation.
So, perhaps you were involved in a car accident, which caused you to suffer a broken arm. If you did not have a broken arm prior to the incident, there is a clear link between the accident and the injury. We will talk to you about your injuries, including how they have impacted your life, and whether you had any pre-existing medical conditions.
If we can establish that someone else owed you a duty of care, and this duty of care was breached, causing you to suffer an injury, then you will have grounds to make a claim. However, there is just one more thing we need to clarify – when did the accident happen?
Are you within the time limit ?
The majority of personal injury claims must be made within three years of the accident. For instance, if you were knocked off your bike on 1 January 2020, you will have until 1 January 2023 to bring a claim against those at fault. If you miss this deadline, you cannot make a personal injury claim – even if you have clearly been injured because of someone else’s negligence.
There are some exceptions to the rule. For example, those who are injured while under the age of 18 have until their 21st birthday to bring a claim. Also, those who lack mental capacity are not subject to a time limit.
If you were injured but did not realise it, you may be able to rely on a later date of knowledge. This is the date on which you should have realised that you have grounds for a personal injury claim. This often applies in mesothelioma cases, where the illness appears many years after asbestos exposure.
Otherwise, you must adhere to the three-year time limit. That is why it is essential to seek early legal advice. If you fail to bring a claim before the three-year time limit is up, you will miss your chance to claim compensation.
When you contact us for a free initial enquiry, we will use our legal expertise to confirm whether or not you have grounds to make a claim. If you are then you will need to find out more on how to make a claim. This is the easiest way to find out if you are entitled to compensation. Your initial enquiry is also free of charge, so you do not have to worry about the cost of speaking to a personal injury lawyer.
If we advise that you are able to make a claim, you can decide what to do next. If you would like to make a claim, we can start the process on your behalf, representing you for the duration of your claim. Read more on What are special damages in Personal Injury Claims.
For a free initial enquiry, call us on 0333 009 6275. We are available to take your call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.