What is serious injury?


Gemma Stanley is a highly experienced claimant Serious Injury solicitor with extensive experience in serious and catastrophic injuries. Here she answers the question: “what is serious injury?”

Any level of injury can be distressing and disruptive, particularly if it has been caused by the negligence of someone else. Minor injuries are likely to resolve quickly – within a few days, weeks or months – and require minimal medical treatment. Serious injuries can be long-lasting and can have a huge impact on your life. They can be physical and psychological. It is not uncommon for someone to suffer both physical and psychological injuries at the same time.

Wide range of serious physical injuries

There are a wide range of serious physical injuries ranging from broken bones, torn ligaments, amputations, damage to internal organs, damage to the senses, neurological injuries, burns, lacerations and scarring, and brain damage. You may suffer from a number of different physical injuries at once. They can require periods of hospital admission and multiple investigations including tests and scans. Treatment can include surgery or conservative management with medication. Those who have been seriously injured often need rehabilitation to improve their chances of recovery including physiotherapy, hydrotherapy, speech and language therapy, skin camouflage techniques and pain management. Rehabilitation may be intensive, and it can take a number of months or years before the impact of it can be assessed and the long-term future considered.

Serious psychological injuries

There are also serious psychological injuries including Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), depression, anxiety, adjustment disorder and specific phobias which develop as a result of the incident, such as travel anxiety or illness anxiety. Psychologists and psychiatrists can assist with diagnosing psychological injuries and recommending treatment. Serious psychological injuries are typically those which affect a person’s daily life, functioning and routine and those which are ongoing for a number of months or years. Treatment in the form of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) or Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing Therapy (EMDR) can help with the recovery process.

Combination of physical and psychological injuries

Someone may suffer a single serious injury, or they may suffer a combination of both physical and psychological injuries after an accident. At first an injury may seem of a minor nature, but it can develop into a more serious condition as time goes on. It is important to monitor progress regularly. The effect of a serious injury should not be underestimated. It can impact every area of life as you knew it from your ability to work and earn a living, taking part in social activities and hobbies, to existing and new relationships. Although many achieve a full recovery, sadly some serious injuries can have permanent or life-long implications.

Consult an experienced lawyer

It is important that your lawyer is experienced in the area and alive to the complex nature of serious injuries and how they can develop. Your lawyer can ensure that every aspect is investigated to maximise the chance for rehabilitation along the way and, ultimately, to recover the right amount of compensation for you. Compensation cannot take away what has  happened, but it can help you live your life more comfortably following a serious injury.


If you are affected by any of the issues raised here, please get in touch today. We are here to help you.