Legal Information Centre

23 September 2008 by Mary Heaney

What type of claims are personal injury lawyers working on?

Work accidents are on the increase but personal injury lawyers are finding it difficult to prove stress-related injuries.

Personal injury victims sometimes find it hard to decide whether it is worth making a claim for their accident. To give you a better idea of what type of personal accident claims can be made, John McNeilly asks personal injury lawyers about the most common type of claims and their predictions about what people will claim for in the future.

Work accidents

Workplace injuries are on the increase, according to personal injury lawyer Richard Dugdale of law firm William Sturges who says his firm has noticed an increase in personal accident claims from workplace injuries. Thanks to a recent raft of EEC regulations on health and safety, Dugdale predicts that personal injury lawyers will receive even more work in this area. New rules have meant that, in turn, employers across the board have had to re-assess the procedures that they employ to prevent injuries.

Personal injury lawyer David Urpeth (right), of Irwin Mitchell, also notes “a disappointingly high number of accidents in the construction and farming industries.” Personal injury is of course more likely in these workplaces but he laments the fact that more stringent safety measures have not put pay to this trend.

Work diseases/illnesses

Personal injury claims particularly look set to rise thanks to new lifting regulations. Personal injury solicitors warn employers that they can affect those in a variety of careers ranging from removals to office work that might require light lifting.

Work-related stress is another area in which Dugdale believes personal injury claims are set to grow but warns that securing success can be difficult for lawyers due to the high threshold of proof that is required.

The injuries lawyer has to be able to demonstrate that the employer was aware of the personal accident victim's stress but failed to do anything about it.

Personal injury lawyer Ruth Booy of Kester Cunningham John agrees that such cases are difficult, saying that solicitors “tend not to take them on”. She says it is often more straightforward to seek compensation through an employment tribunal.

Bringing personal injury claims for repetitive strain industry (RSI) is comparable to the difficulties personal injury lawyers have in taking stress-related claims. Proving that the injuries did not occur due to natural tendency but were rather brought on by their employment is a challenge for accident lawyers.

Click here to read ‘Using a personal injury lawyer'

Click here to read ‘Personal Injury Law – Are you entitled to £4.5 million?’

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