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A personal injury claim is when you suffer an injury caused by another party’s wrong-doing (or tort) and you would like to receive compensation for that injury. Some people settle out of court using insurance companies and their (the insurance’s) legal experts, but this is not advised as it is difficult to truly measure the relief that should be provided according to your injury, and often insurance companies try to neglect personal injury to avoid large payouts. Seeking your own legal advice, and if necessary going to court, is more than likely to get you the compensation that is deserved. Personal injury falls under civil law.
In Cyprus personal injury is not limited to the body, it includes the mind and ones’ mental state is taken very seriously. It is important that when you have your accident, you contact a lawyer and visit a medical professional as soon as possible. The sooner you do, the better your case during settlement negotiations or in court. It is the job your lawyer to compile evidence to support your case and make a preliminary calculation of how much s/he believes you could get as compensatory relief.
In Cyprus, personal injury is based on the doctrine of negligence. Courts understand that many accidents are unavoidable and therefore by using the doctrine of negligence, a court can establish if there is liability. They can do this using the reasonable person rule. This is where the plaintiff must show that a reasonably careful person in the defendant’s position would have acted differently under the circumstances. If the answer is yes, that means the defendant was negligent and therefore liable.
Accidents can occur anywhere and by any means. Example are, car accidents caused by drunk driving, medical injury caused by a negligent medical practitioner, negligent wrongdoing provided by a professional…as you can see, in all of these examples, the wrongdoer ignored risk and therefore caused injury through negligence.
When calculating damages, the courts in Cyprus have a hard time on their hands. For damages relating to property and medical fees, the ‘bill’ can be easily calculated, but to calculate damages that relate to emotion and mental states, experts need to be called in.
There are various types of Tort in Cyprus, some of which are:
- Strict liability: This is where defendants are liable even though they avoided doing harm. This is the case for example for transport of hazardous material, building demolition…etc.
- Defective products: here, if a product is defective, the manufacturer is considered as having acted negligently
- Personal injury: Negligent actions, as mentioned above, but as a defence, the doctrine of ‘due care’ can be established. This is where the plaintiff is accused of not having applied due care in the situation making it worse than it would have been if due care was applied. This also applies where the plaintiff accepted in taking the risks posed to him beforehand e.g. where one accepts participating in a dangerous sports event.
Either way, whichever your tort, it is important to get the advise of a lawyer and obtain a medical assessment as soon as possible to begin proceedings before the statute of limitation takes effect.
For further information of personal injury claims or assistance of the compensation you may be entitled to, you can get in touch with our lawyers.