85% of Injured Workers Not Compensated for Accidents at Work

1 April 2014

The media would have us believe that we live in a “compensation culture”, in which thousands of people play the system to receive pay-outs they don’t deserve.

However, a report recently published by the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL) and the Trade Union Congress revealed that the opposite may in fact be true.

Entitled The Compensation Myth, the report found that whilst 610,000 people were injured at work in 2012-13, only 90,000 successful compensation claims were made.

This means that around 85% of people injured or made ill at work do not recover any compensation. Indeed, the report demonstrates that even the overall number of claims is dropping. There were 183,342 accident at work claims in 2002. By 2012, this had more than halved to 91,115.

It gets worse. Recent law reforms have introduced fixed legal fees for accident at work claims up to a certain value. Claimants now have to use up to 25% of their compensation to pay for their legal costs.

All told, this report demonstrates that we do not live in a “compensation culture” at all. Instead, not only are the majority of claimants not receiving the compensation to which they are entitled, those that do receive compensation are getting hit by punitive legal fees.

We have always resented the idea of a “compensation culture”, as it serves to undermine the very real pain and misery experienced by those suffering from work-related illnesses and injuries.

British workplaces contain many different types of hazard, and employers owe a duty of care to their employees to protect them as much as possible from health and safety risks. The risks will vary depending on the type of job and the working environment, but in any case, employers are required to abide by a multitude of regulations and legislations to safeguard their staff against illness and injury.

For this reason, it is unacceptable that so many claimants should be denied their compensation.

If you have received a workplace injury, we offer confidential advice on a variety of accident at work claims. We also offer no win no fee agreements should you decide to take your claim forward with us.

Victoria Pryer is a Trainee Solicitor at Advance Legal. Please contact Victoria or another member of the team on 0800 068 00 69 and they will be happy to discuss your compensation claim with you.