Personal Injury * : What is the difference between an Accident and a Claim ?

There can at times be a fine line between an accident and an accident that gives rise to compensation due to  negligence.  However the law does distinguish between the two.

To put it simply, in the eyes of the law an accident is an incident that no one could possibly have foreseen and for which is it not appropriate to place blame. Nobody has control over the incident nor does anybody have responsibly to prevent it.

Negligence on the other hand is essentially an incident that is caused by the act or omission of another in breach of their duty of care, which is a duty to avoid acts or omission that you can reasonably foresee would cause an injury to another. Examples of such duties of care are a doctors duty of care towards a patient, an employers duty of care towards the health and safety of an employee.

In order to receive personal injury compensation* for an injury resulting from an accident that was not your fault, your personal injury solicitor * will have to prove that the accident occurred because of another persons negligence and was not a mere accident. In addition, they will have to prove that the negligence did in fact cause your injury.

Sometimes it is not always obvious as to who is at fault or it may be the case that there was negligence on both sides in relation to the case of the injury. Contributory negligence may play a part which is the legal term used to describe when an injured party contributed to his or her own injury by acting in a negligent manner. Contributory negligence can defeat a Plaintiffs case or reduce the amount of compensation awarded for the injury. A prime example is seen when an injured party failed to wear a seat belt in a road traffic accident*.  In these circumstances it is often the case that compensation will be reduced.

If you have been injured in an accident that was not your fault but want to know if you are entitled to compensation you should contact Cosgrove Gaynard Solicitors who will advise you accordingly. Our personal injury solicitors* are experts at detecting when an accident is or is not negligence and can assess your injury and the circumstances leading to it and determine if you are entitled to compensation for your injury.

Contact us for further information at:

Cosgrove Gaynard Solicitors, 22 Fitzwilliam Square, Dublin 2

Phone: 01 234 0044 Email:    Web:

* In contentious business, a solicitor may not calculate fees or other charges as a percentage or proportion of any award or settlement. This statement is made in compliance with Reg.8 of SI 518 of 2002.


© Cosgrove Gaynard Solicitors 2012. All rights reserved

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