What is a personal injury?

Personal injury is the legal term used for the injuries an individual sustains in an incident that may have legal ramifications.

Below we will look at exactly what this means, and look at a few examples. All of the below are types of personal injury.

Physical Injury

A physical injury is one which damages the body in some way, whether this is internally or externally. Common examples of this are broken bones or a whiplash injury. It could also describe an injury such as a ruptured spleen which although it may not be visible, requires medical treatment or surgery.

Physical injuries are often suffered in road traffic accidents, or accidents at work, although they can be suffered in just about all different types of accident.

Psychological Injury

Psychological injuries are also classed as personal injuries, if they have been triggered by circumstances beyond the sufferer’s control. Common psychological conditions involved in personal injury cases include depression, anxiety, stress and post traumatic stress disorder.

Example cases include, psychological conditions caused by suffering abuse as a child, or from being the victim of a criminal act. It is also relatively common to see cases where psychological conditions have developed after suffering serious injuries, in a road accident for example.


In some cases, an illness/disease is classed as a personal injury. This is usually because it has been instigated by someone else’s negligence and lack of care.

The most common examples of this are medical conditions caused by conditions in the workplace. Asbestos related cancers, occupational asthma and even noise induced hearing loss are all unfortunately common instances of this.

Sometimes illness can be caused outside the workplace. Legionnaires’ disease, food poisoning or MRSA if caused by below standard hygiene standards can be categorised as personal injuries for example.

Fatal injuries

Unfortunately the personal injuries people sustain in accidents can sometimes prove fatal. This understandably causes loved ones immense distress and sadness. If someone was at fault for the accident, then the deceased’s relatives can make a legal claim against them for the pain and suffering they have caused. Dependants of the deceased can also claim for the financial loss the tragedy has caused them.

If you have suffered any of the personal injuries that we have discussed above, then the best thing to do is to seek free expert legal advice about your exact circumstances.

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