Injury Prevention Week 2021
During Injury Prevention Week 2021 the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL) is shining a light on the need for people to take care of each other and use their common sense, as well as highlighting the difference between accidents and negligence.
Exclusive YouGov research commissioned by APIL found that, shockingly, 56% of people asked said that they do not regularly think about the saftey of others when undertaking activities such as working or driving.
One would think that, considering the UK public has been asked to take unprecedented measures and precautions to keep one another safe from the coronavirus over the last 18 months, the mindset of caring for others may now reach beyond the pandemic. However accoridng to APIL's poll this is clearly not the case.
Despite the fact the majority of us were unable to go anywhere or do much for the best part of 2020, hundreds of thousands of compensation claims were still registered last year by people who were needlessly injured through the negligence of others.
Accidents v negligence
The two words are often mistaken as having the same cause and definition, when actually, this isn't the case at all. You will often read in the media that someone has been awarded damages following an ‘accident’. APIL's president, Neil McKinley, says this is highly misleading:
"How the law applies when a person has been injured by someone else depends upon whether the injury was an accident, or caused by negligence. This is why it is so important that we all have the correct understanding of what the two actually mean, and how we can avoid needless injury to ourselves, and those around us."
So what is the difference and why is this important?
An accident is an incident which no-one could have reasonably foreseen taking place. If your injury is a genuine accident, then essentially it's just that - an accident. Unfortunately, accidents occur every day and no-one can be held responsible for any harm caused.
Negligence, however, is very different. Negligence is doing or failing to do something that can cause injury or harm to someone else. Obviously no-one wants this. Negligence can - and should - be prevented at all costs. When someone is negligent, the law allows the injured person to claim damages for pain and suffering, as well as financial losses. The harm and suffering caused by someone elses negligence can be life-changing and in some cases, strips people of the independence they once had. In other cases negligence can prove to be fatal. The harm caused by negligence can have a profound and long-term impact on a families’ everyday lives.
APIL's Injury Prevention Week aims to help effect positive change in reducing the number of these needless injuries which are caused by negligence – it’s much easier to avoid negligence if we have a real understanding of what it is.