Someone who hits you from behind in traffic, resulting in whiplash complaints. Or an industrial accident that leaves you with permanent complaints and limitations. The neighbor’s dog that bites you. An accident resulting in injury can just happen to you. The question then is what to do?
What exactly is personal injury?
Personal injury is the damage you can suffer because you are injured in an accident. There is a good chance that you will be left with damage. For example, because you are temporarily or even unable to work at all. Or because you incur medical costs. The damage you suffer from an accident or dog bite is called personal injury.
Personal injury claims are the work of personal injury lawyers. For example, from a personal injury lawyer in The Hague (Dutch: letselschade advocaat Den Haag) or a personal injury lawyer in Groningen (Dutch: letselschade advocaat Groningen).
But how do you claim personal injury and which damage items are eligible for compensation after a collision or accident at work?
It is first and foremost important that claiming personal injury is only possible if someone else is liable for the damage incurred. Sometimes you can also claim compensation from a passenger damage insurance, but not everyone has such an insurance.
If you are hit from behind in traffic, the rear vehicle is liable for your injury. In many countries all cars and other motor vehicles are compulsorily insured against liability. So if you happen to be in a traffic accident, you can probably claim compensation paid by the personal injury insurer.
Except in traffic, there is no compulsory insurance against liability. However, most employers are insured against liability as a result of an accident at work. So if you have an industrial accident, you can usually recover personal injury from the employer’s personal injury insurer. It is then this insurer who will pay for your personal injury.
Have you been bitten by a dog? Then the dog owner is obliged to compensate the injury you suffer as a result of the dog bite. Owners of animals are generally liable for damage caused by the animal to property and persons.
What injuries are covered?
Personal injury claims consist of many types of damage items. These damage items can be divided into material damage and immaterial damage; this damage is often referred to as punitive damages.
Material damage is all damage that can be valued in money. You can think of damage as a result of incapacity for work. Because after a car accident or bicycle accident you can be injured to such an extent that you can no longer perform your own work or alternative work. This will result in loss of income and loss of pension. But the disability can also cause a study delay because the injury victim cannot go to school due to the injury.
Other material damage consists of medical costs, travel costs and costs incurred for help in the household.
Intangible damage cannot be valued in money. It is compensation for, among other things, pain complaints suffered as a result of the accident. But it is also compensation for fear of traffic after a car accident or psychological complaints caused by the accident.