It used to be the case, ‘back in the day,’ that someone who suffered injury in an accident just had to accept it and live with any consequences. If the injury was inflicted by the actions of someone else, there was a chance that they could face civil or even criminal proceedings, but the victim had to make do and hope for a speedy recovery.
No longer is this the case. This is probably where the infamous and somewhat clapped out notion of the ‘compensation culture’ comes from – where there was little or no provision for such recompense before, there now is. And why shouldn’t there be? After all, it’s easy to criticise until misfortune befalls either you or a loved one, and then the playing field changes.
It’s a simple notion – if you sustain an injury that cannot be blamed on you, then you are entitled to try and get something back for what you’ve gone through. Not only in simple financial terms, but in punitive terms too.
Here are the two most common circumstances that give rise to claims for injury compensation.
Road accident injury
There are now some 35 million vehicles, or close enough, on UK roads. Not every single one of those vehicles is going to be in perfect mechanical condition or be driven by a fully competent and alert motorist. Throw in some other factors – dangerous roads and the like – and it is an unfortunate inevitability that accidents are going to happen.
The vast majority of these are minor, thankfully. When they do happen injury victims are most likely to suffer from whiplash afterwards – a very painful experience that can result in forced time off work and an impact upon daily routine. The more serious an injury is, then the greater the award of any compensation is likely to be. This is especially true if the injury has a long-term effect on the person’s health, such as a brain injury.
The injury claim itself is paid, if successful, by the negligent party’s insurance. If the person that caused the claimant’s injuries is uninsured, the claim may be paid by the Motor Insurers Bureau. And of course, if the victim caused their own crash, then they won’t get anything.
Work accident injury
In the UK, employers are regulated by strict health and safety rules which often come in for criticism, but in reality are essential in keeping workers throughout Britain safe from dangerous working conditions.
Employers are required by law to carry out risk assessments in the workplace on a regular basis to spot potential threats to employees’ safety. If a member of their staff suffers an injury that is adjudged to have been their fault, then the employee can claim injury compensation.
This is paid for by the company’s indemnity insurance, which they are also legally obliged to hold. The more dangerous the job, the more stringent the risk assessments will have to be.