Local authorities paying through the nose again

Personal injury news roundup: 7 days ended 3 June 2014:

Here we go again: every time new reports come out about how local authorities have been paying out on accident claims the compensation culture pundits come out.

It happens without fail, and I’ve never seen it not occur – some news article gets published about how someone slipped and fell and ended up with thousands in personal injury compensation that comes out of taxpayer money, sending pundits into a self-righteous rage over how greedy injury solicitors are. This week it was stories about how much West Sussex County Council and Leicester City Council have been spending shedloads of cash, and it’s started yet another row about how compensation culture is ruining the UK. Well bollocks to that I say – let’s take a closer look at this weeks’s stories,e h?

So West Sussex County Council spent £23,000 to compensate an injured school staffer. Do you know why? He slipped in a wet puddle in a school corridor, falling and injuring their foot and ankle bad enough to do damage to the tendons. Sure, his compensation award ended up being more than a first-year teacher would earn from the council, but the poor bastard ends up crippling himself in a slippery corridor and  you’re going to quibble about a few thousand quid? What kind of heartless monster are you? Besides it’s not like the council is in the business of just signing off on every compensation claim that comes across their desk.

Now it’s true that in the long run £23,000 might not be that much to a local council, but over several years these compensation payments add up. Leicester City Council recently revealed that it’s paid out nearly £2 million over the past five years which is by any and all accounts a kingly sum. Of course several of those years were before the legal reforms limiting legal fees payable to law firms, so the figures are skewed. But none of those pundits ever mention that do they?

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