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III. When can I make a claim for personal injury?

You may claim compensation for personal injury through legal action in Hong Kong when you have suffered injuries as the victim of an accident that was caused by the fault of a party other than yourself.  A legal action for personal injury is a civil lawsuit that is directed at compensating a victim who suffers bodily injury due to an accident that is caused by a wrongdoer.  It does not impose criminal liability for punishing the wrongdoer.


The mere fact that an accident occurred is not by itself sufficient to prove that the defendant has been negligent. The burden of proof is on the plaintiff (in this case the person injured) to show that on the balance of probability, the accident was caused by the fault (negligence) of the defendant(s).  The burden of proof of liability for a personal injury claim may be based on a number of causes of action. 


These "causes" include negligence, trespass on a person (such as physical attack), nuisance, breach of a statutory duty, and breach of a contractual duty. You can also claim for monetary compensation against a person who has deliberately injured you.  However, if the accident did not involve someone's fault or negligence, then there is no cause of action under personal injury proceedings, and you will not be able to sue anyone for compensation.