Personal injury news roundup: 7 days ended 15 April 2014:
More information has come to light concerning the UK’s local councils and how they end up paying out on injury claims, and it goes further than school injuries.
First up this week is a report coming out of Cornwall Council, where it was just revealed that there has been something like £780,000 spent by the council on paying out personal injury compensation claims over the last four years. That’s more cash than you can shake a whole bundle of personal injury solicitors at, if you ask me!
Most of the injuries have been related to broken or uneven pavements and potholes that need mending, causing bodily harm and damage to vehicles. The frequency of personal injury claims seem to be increasing as well, as figures indicated that 2013 alone saw more than £207,000 paid out to injured local residents with no indications that this will drop off any time soon.
Could be worse though. I mean you could be on one of two Devon councils that have had to pay out somewhere around £2.5 million over the same period of time. Plymouth City Council and Torbay Council have been absolutely inundated with claims, sometimes as much as £100,000 in damages at a time.
So what’s causing this incredibly upswing in injury claims? Are the people who live in the South just that more accident-prone? The answer is of course not – and the answer is also not that there’s some ridiculous ‘culture of compensation’ that’s causing Brits to rub their palms together in avaricious glee. While I can’t claim that there aren’t some dodgy claims made by disreputable personal injury lawyers and claimants looking to make a quick buck it simply can’t explain the overall higher rates of compensation claim activity. No, I think the true problem here is that the economy has been in the toilet for so long.
Even though things are getting better slowly but surely you can’t be blind to the fact that the past few years have been rough to say the least. Austerity budgets mean local authorities don’t have the funds to keep their maintenance up, which means pavements deteriorate and potholes go unmended – and more people end up injured as a result. On top of that, fewer Brits are as financially well-off as they were before the economic downturn, leading to more people needing the extra cash from a compensation claim. I really think it’s as simple as that.