Online filing might increase number of personal injury claims

Employers might want to look for ways to ensure their staff do not suffer a personal injury at work, after Kenneth Clarke, the Justice Secretary announced that compensation claims up to £50,000 might soon be able to be filed online.

Clarke’s proposal is aimed at tackling the so called compensation culture in the UK but the ease by which people can file a claim over the Internet has led to concerns that this might lead to an increase in the number of claims for personal injury compensation.

Personal injury solicitors have been accused of fuelling the compensation culture by engaging in a practice called “ambulance chasing”. And motorists are understandably aggrieved that the cost of car insurance has jumped dramatically in the past 12 months because insurers are paying out huge amounts in compensation.

Under the current rules, people can file an online personal injury claim for road traffic incidents, but only up to a maximum compensation amount of £10,000. Extending this to all personal injuries, and increasing the maximum limit for claims is likely to put additional pressure on companies to make sure they adhere fully to all aspects of Health & Safety legislation.

The manufacturing sector accounted for 16% of all reported injuries at work in 2009/10, whilst the recycling sub-group has an injury rate five times that of the sector as a whole.

The HSE has been busy recently coming down hard on companies found to be breaching safety regulations and if online filing becomes the norm, they may find themselves even busier.

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