The Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL) has joined forces with the Trade Union Congress (TUC) for a report that launches a scathing attack on the idea of a compensation culture in the UK.
They have identified several “myths” that centre on compensation claims for accidents at work and provided evidence to debunk these theories. Below are some key observations from their findings:
Don’t blame the workers
First and foremost, APIL set out to disprove the idea that too many workers are making compensation claims.
They cited government statistics that show claims have almost halved in the last ten years, and observed that the current government has changed the system so that successful claimants may now see up to 25% of their compensation go towards their legal fees.
Additionally, they note that six out of seven injured workers receive no compensation. Of the 610,000 people injured or suffering an illness because of their job each year, only 90,000 are compensated by their employer. A further 20,000 are recompensed by government schemes.
Don’t blame the lawyers
APIL also took aim at the popular misconception that lawyers are inclined to drag cases out in order to receive a higher fee.
This is rather easily contested due to the fact that the amount a solicitor can take for handling accident at work claims worth £10,000-£25,000 is capped at £1,600, meaning there would be no point in taking any longer than necessary.
APIL also notes that in many instances a case is strung out because defendants and their insurers fail to admit liability early, which has the secondary effect of causing a delay in the treatment and rehabilitation of victims.
Defending compensation amounts
Statistics suggest that 75% of claims pay damages of fewer than £10,000, pouring cold water on the idea that workers are paid too much for their injuries.
APIL outlines how our legal system is designed to compensate the injured specifically to cover what they have lost, in an attempt to return them to a situation that is as close as possible to how their life was before they were injured. They suggest a change in attitude from those who view compensation as a “gift”.
Changes in the law have also made it more difficult than ever before for victims to make a successful claim. Previously, if an employer broke health and safety guidelines this could form the basis of claim, but now there is a burden of proof on the claimant to show employer negligence, which can be very difficult to obtain.
APIL suggest that this will deter many legitimate claimants and cause negligent practices to continue, which in turn will lead to more injured and ill workers in the future.
Legal advice for injured workers
The main observation for victims to take away from all of this is that they should not be deterred from making a legitimate claim because they are worried about how it will be perceived.
It is right that workers who are injured or develop an illness through no fault of their own are compensated for this, and Croftons Solicitors are in a position to help achieve this.
Call us today on 0800 2800 094 to see how we can help with your claim.