Accident or negligence?

This is the main issue in any compensation claim. You can make a claim for compensation but only if there is evidence to show that your injury was caused by someone else’s negligence.

They need to be at least partially to blame for what has happened to you.

This means that they did not ensure that safeguards were in place to protect you against an accident or injury: or if there were that these were faulty or inadequate in some way.

If this has been the case then you may receive compensation.

So what is the difference between an accident and negligence?


An accident is a situation which happens without warning and as such, could not be prevented. No-one is responsible and there aren’t any grounds for making a claim.

All of us have at some point been injured due to our actions. Carelessness is part of being human and it is easy to do something without thinking which then results in an injury.

An example of this is leaving a cable lying across the floor which you then trip over. If you failed to concentrate on what you were doing or think about the potential dangers in doing so then it is your fault and no-one else’s.

But if you trip over a cable which has been put there by someone else who did not mention it to you or anyone else then that is a different matter.

That is classed as negligence.


This is defined as an action which will cause an injury to another person unless measures are put in place to prevent this from happening.

It means being aware of the consequences of your actions on not only you but everyone else.

An example of this is an employer who runs a business which in which employees are engaged in potentially dangerous tasks. This employer has a responsibility to these employers to warn them about these dangers and to provide suitable protection.

He or she can foresee what may happen and so will take steps to reduce the risk of an accident or injury.

Not doing so means that they have inadvertently placed their employees at risk and failed in their duty of care to them.

What this means is that we all have a duty of care to ourselves and others.

If you are in a position whereby what you do impacts upon others then you need to stop and think about the potential risks and what you can do to reduce these.

It is reasonable to expect people to take some responsibility for their actions, for example, remembering to wear a seat belt if travelling by coach but if there are no seat belts provided or the existing ones are defective then the fault lies with the coach company and not the individual.

If you have sustained an injury which was not your fault and may be attributed to someone else’s negligence then consider a claim for compensation.

You need to make a decision about whether to pursue a claim or make a complaint. There is a difference between the two.

Personal Injury Guide

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