Who is Responsible for Injury Awareness?.

As we have entered Injury Awareness Week 2024, I have looked at some frightening statistics.

In 2021/2022 health and safety statistics suggest that there were 565,000 injuries sustained at work, with 61,713 non-fatal injuries being reported by employers. The National Accident Helpline reports 829,252 accident injury compensation claims for 2019/2020 with 72,587 relating to trips, slips and falls and Brake, the road safety charity, reported that in the UK during 2022, 1,766 people were killed, with 28,941 being seriously injured. Frighteningly, road deaths have increased by 10% since 2021.

So why do accidents happen? Accidents can occur at any time and for a number of reasons. There are still occasions when an accident is just simply that…an accident with no-one to blame and it being just one of those things.

However, the vast majority of accidents that occur are as a result of someone’s negligence. In road traffic accident claims, there is usually negligence by a driver that could be speeding, drink driving or failing to drive with due care and attention. In slip and trip claims there is usually negligence for failing to maintain an area, and in accidents at work negligence can occur where there have been failures in relation to risk assessments, maintenance of work equipment and failures to provide appropriate safety equipment.

The act of negligence can take place without it causing any harm to anyone. For example, if you speed to get to work on time, but you do not injure anyone, whilst you’re acting negligently, that act has not caused anyone an injury. But what happens when it all goes wrong? All accidents, whatever the type, and whatever the injury sustained are traumatic, as they are not a pre-planned event and often victims are left with both physical and psychological injuries. There are also a significant number of accidents where catastrophic injuries, or even life limiting injuries are sustained, as highlighted by the statistics referred to.

If someone has been injured as a result of someone else’s negligence they may have a personal injury claim which will allow them the opportunity to recover damages for their pain and suffering and damages in relation to their out of pocket expenses, such as loss of earnings.

In order for a claim to be successful an individual would need to establish negligence against the defendants, and thereafter also prove that the defendants’ negligence has caused them to sustain an injury. This is done by the provision of independent medical evidence to confirm the injuries sustained, and the prognosis in relation to those injuries. Failure by a claimant to look after their own safety, which then ultimately leads them to sustain an injury, could result in their compensation being reduced to reflect the level of responsibility they had in terms of the injuries sustained.

Over my legal career I have acted for hundreds of claimants in a variety of accidents and no one claim is ever the same. Each claimant has a different story and a different journey and having to go through the legal process to obtain damages can also be stressful, so it is important they feel as supported as possible by their legal team.

So who is responsible for injury awareness? The reality of the answer to this question is ALL OF US!

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