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Personal injury at work: 85% of injuries are not compensated

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Commonly, work place injuries relate to musculoskeletal disorders such as ligament and back injuries, skin diseases, hearing problems and injuries from slips and falls. 

The figures for the year 2012-2013 show that of the 610,000 people who were injured at work, only 90,000 successful compensation claims were made.  On average, 600,000 people each year are injured at work and of those, 25,000 are forced to give up work. 

The report also dismisses the claim that some solicitors drag cases out for their own benefit by drawing attention to the fact that legal fees are now limited for employer liability claims.  Also, the recent civil litigation reforms included a requirement for successful claimants to use up to 25% of their damages to pay legal fees which previously had been met by the defendant.  Overall, work place claims have reduced from 183,342 in 2002 to 91,115 in 2012-2013.   

APIL president Matthew Stockwell said "There is a general lack of understanding about the way the personal injury system works.  Compensation claims can only be made where negligence has been proven; not every mishap has a price tag attached".  He added that most injured people are either choosing not to claim or cannot prove their injury is due to someone else's negligence.  Proving employer's negligence may be problematic as it is the employer who controls the workplace and has all the information on the equipment and systems in place.

The report concluded that "There is a strong likelihood that many injured workers will be put off from making claims for compensation for their injuries entirely, allowing many negligent employers to avoid making amends, and leaving the state to pick up the tab for medical care and any benefits arising from the injury". 

This is not legal advice; it is intended to provide information of general interest about current legal issues.

'If you have been injured and believe that your injury was caused by the fault of a third party (perhaps because you have had an accident at work or a road traffic accident) and would like to know if you may be entitled to claim compensation please contact Alexandra Dean on 01245 228141 or email deana@gepp.co.uk