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17 Personal Injury

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1. Introduction

2. What is a personal injury?

3. What action can I take?

4. How do I choose a solicitor?

5. What are claims assessors and claims management companies?

6. What if I was injured in a road accident?

7. What if I was injured by a faulty product or service?

If a product (for example, a car or a power tool) was unsafe and injured you, you're protected by the Consumer Protection Act 1987. This law also covers you if you were made ill by contaminated food bought in a shop.

You do not have to prove that the company that made the product was negligent. But you have to prove in court that:

  • the product was 'defective' (less safe than you were reasonably entitled to expect); and
  • it caused your injury because of this.

You may need an expert witness to help you show the court that the product was less safe than you could reasonably expect.

You could also take action if you are injured by a service provider (for example, a hairdresser).

For a small injury, where you are not claiming a large amount of compensation, you could use the small claims procedure in court. This does not cost very much, and you can present your own case without using a solicitor. But the most you can claim for a personal injury using this procedure is £1,000.

You should keep any evidence (such as the product you think caused the injury).

For more about this, see the Gurkha Free Legal Advice leaflet 'Problems with Goods and Services'.

8. What if I was injured in an accident abroad?

9. What if I can´t afford a solicitor?

10. What can I claim compensation for?

11. What if I am claiming for someone who has died?

12. What if I am claiming for a child?

13. What if I am one of a group of people injured in the same way?

14. What if I´m a victim of crime?

15. Further Help

16. About this leaflet

This leaflet was written in association with Roger Bolt of Bolt Burdon Kemp

Leaflet version: May 2008

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