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Accidents at work: 85% of claimants not compensated

Occupational Safety Equipment

The Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL) and the Trades Union Congress (TUG) released a joint report on 16 th April 2014 entitled The Compensation Myth. The report found that more than 85% of workers who have suffered an accident at work did not receive any form of financial compensation for their injuries.

The study looked at the accident figures from 2012/2013 (the most recent ones available) and identified nearly 610,000 people who were injured in their workplace, out of which only around 90,000 successful compensation claims came to fruition. APIL believe that this is because workers are either choosing not to claim or because they have been unable to prove that their injuries were a result of someone else’s negligence.

Further details from the report revealed that over 600,000 people are reported to be injured or become ill in their workplace every year and around 25,000 of those are forced to give up work as a result of their injuries or illness - but only a small proportion of these reported accidents are actually recorded. According to the report, the most common forms of workplace injuries were ligament and back problems; other injuries include hearing problems such as tinnitus, skin disorders, and injuries resulting from trips and falls.

Number of workplace accidents on the decline

While the number of personal injury claims are considerably lower than the actual number of workplace accidents, the national number of recorded accidents in the workplace has dropped by over 50% in the last 10 years; in 2002 there were 183,342 recorded cases compared to 91,115 in 2012/2013. One of the possible reasons why many workers now avoid making a personal injury claim for an accident at work may be the new policies introduced in 2013 by the UK Government requiring claimants to use at least 25% of their financial settlement on legal fees - fees that were originally paid for by the losing defendant.

The policy changes have been heavily criticised by APIL and TUG as they believe that the UK Government have ‘turned the clock back’ to a time when employees were required to prove their employer was negligent for any personal injury claim to be successful.

As a result of the findings, the report concluded by saying:

“There’s 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”.

Have you been injured in an accident at work? Here at Fonseca & Partners we can provide you with expert advice and guidance regarding personal injury claims against an employer. If you would like to speak with one of our professional solicitors you can contact us on 01495 303124 or email enquiries@fonsecalaw.co.uk.