Local councils paid out £2.25m last year for personal injuries sustained in classrooms, playgrounds and sports fields, according to new figures released under the Freedom of Information Act.
400 pupils were successful in their claims last year and every week up to 10 children launch a personal injury compensation claim for injuries sustained at school.
The largest award, £33,500, was made to a boy in Poole who injured himself doing a high jump. Elsewhere in the country, another pupil received £29,000 after sitting on a hot radiator and a Lincolnshire boy who fell off an exercise bike was paid £4,500.
In Wakefield the council paid out £11,756.95 in personal injury compensation after members of the public filed five personal injury claims for school related incidents, whilst Middlesbrough schools had to fork out £11,000 for minor accidents.
Despite this seemingly large amount of claims, the National Accident Helpline has found that very few people are actually aware of their rights when it comes to injuries caused by somebody else’s negligence. In fact a mere 6% of us are confident that we know our legal rights.
People in low income groups are especially loathe to pursue negligence cases as they fell the cost of hiring a personal injury solicitor is prohibitive.
Another problem is the stigma attached to personal injury compensation. In recent years a ‘compensation culture’ myth has sprung up that people seeking redress are just looking to make a quick buck.
The NAH is currently launching a campaign aimed at raising industry standards in the personal injury sector and championing the right of consumers to seek redress.
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