Modern negligence law relied on by accident solicitors in the United Kingdom is based on case law initiated by a deceptively simple 1932 case called Donohue v. Stevenson relating to a snail in a bottle lemonade that caused the person who drank it to be ill. Prior to this, similar cases were almost exclusively based on contract and there are records of contract/negligence cases going back as far as 1348, however in Donohue v. Stevenson as the person who became ill was not the person who bought the drink, the case law was extended to cover those to whom manufacturers owed a 'duty of care' as opposed to just a contractual liability which in this case would be any person who actually drank the lemonade as opposed to the person who paid for it.
Negligence Law Solicitors
Clearly the law has moved on and developed since that time however the basic principles remain and negligence law solicitors now rely on the following three elements to be present :-
- The person who causes the injury must owe a duty of care to the injured person. In the case of a vehicle collision all road users owe each other a duty of care, in the case of a trip or slip injury the owner/occupier of property owes all visitors a duty of care and an employer always owes his employees a duty of care.
- For claims to be successful it is necessary for the person who has suffered to have been injured as a result of the third party defendants negligence. There are numerous definitions of negligence that accident solicitors rely on however there is no statutory definition in the UK. In general terms negligence means the failure to do something that a reasonable person would do or actually doing something that a reasonable person would not do. Clearly this lack of certainty in any definition leaves it open to argue what is and what is not negligent behaviour.
- Finally it must be shown that the negligent act did in fact cause the injury. This is not always as straightforward as it seems. As an example take the case of an elderly person with a degenerating knee joint who sustains physical trauma to the knee. Accident solicitors have great difficulty proving which part, if any, is due to the trauma and which part is due to natural degeneration.
If you suffer an injury as a result of a third party's negligence whilst at work then your employer may be strictly liable to pay compensation. Apart from general case law which is still used by negligence law solicitors, employees are also often protected on a statutory basis by acts of parliament. Employers may be liable if they do not provide adequate training or safety equipment or if they fail to carry out risk assessments or demand that employees carry out an unsafe system of work or if they simply do not protect their employee from becoming involved in an accident. Employers are also liable for the negligent acts and omissions of anybody they employ. This means that if one employee does an act that harms another employee or an act that harms a member of the public, the employer may be liable to pay compensation to the injured party. This is known as vicarious liability and can extend as far as vehicle collisions. For example, if an employee is driving in the course of his work and another road user suffers an injury, then the company employing that driver is liable to pay compensation to the injured party.
Even if you were partly to blame our accident solicitors can still make a claim for you if another person was also partly to blame. This is known as the doctrine of contributory negligence whereby damages payable by the each side are reduced in accordance with the relevant percentage liability attributed too each party.
Personal Injury Solicitors
Umbrella Claims is a specialist organisation that deals exclusively with personal injury claims on a No Win No Fee basis. Ouyr negligence law solicitors will minimalise any inconvenience to you and we offer free advice without obligation from some of the best lawyers in the business. We ensure that our client's interests are a priority and our lawyers deal with claims in a friendly, efficient and competent manner to ensure that you get the compensation that you deserve in the shortest time scale possible. We operate the no win no fee scheme otherwise known as a conditional fee agreement. No legal charge is payable unless the legal case is won and the client obtains an award of compensation. In the event that the legal claim is lost there is no charge made to the client.