Personal injury news roundup: 7 days ended 8 April 2014:
Personal injury solicitors in Doncaster and North Yorkshire have been striking whilst the iron is hot, earning major accident claims for nearby injured pupils.
The past five years have been rough for Doncaster Council, especially after a new Freedom of Information request revealed that there’s been almost £33,000 paid out to hurt pupils in personal injury compensation. Scuttlebutt says that the heightened number of accidents – many of them slip trip and falls – were due to poor staff training programmes, which is a pleasant change from so-called ‘industry experts’ immediately pointing a finger at personal injury lawyers trying to foster a compensation culture to line their own pockets.
However it’s not just Doncaster in the hot seat either – North Yorkshire County Council is out more than twice that figure over the last five years. A sum total of £68,000 has flowed out of the coffers of the council’s insurance company to pay for the injuries caused – again – by poorly trained staff and faulty school equipment. Meanwhile I can’t help but wonder how much less expensive it would have been for these local authorities to simply increase their budgets to properly train their staff and provide their schools with the best equipment they can afford.
Now I won’t mince words: it costs a pretty penny to make a personal injury claim, what with court costs and legal fees. As a result, defendants in these types of claims – which are typically insurance companies for private employers and local authorities – do their best to discourage what they see as excessive claims being made, usually by trying to get them classified as spurious. Sometimes this works but most of the time it doesn’t – and that creates shedloads of frustration which in turn leads to accusations of injury lawyers drumming up business when there shouldn’t necessarily be any. This is why you hear terms like ‘compensation culture’ thrown about like mad.
Of course there are plenty of fraudulent and spurious injury claims made every day in the UK, but it’s not nearly as bad as these insurance companies claim it to be. If you ask me it’s just a simple and easy task to try to shift the blame away from local authorities and private employers when they were caught doing something they shouldn’t. Why can we affix blame where it lies and stop trying to pass the buck all the time?