Personal injury is a hugely important and popular area of civil law. According to the Health and Safety Executive, around 581,000 people suffer an injury at work, of which 69,208 are serious enough to be reported under RIDDOR. This works out at 28.2 million working days lost, which cost £15 billion in injuries and ill health.
Of course, this fails to factor in the non-quantifiable costs, which in some cases can be significant. Moreover, workplace accidents, as we’ll see, account for only a minority of personal injury claims overall.
Over the last few years, it’s enjoyed significant and sustained growth, with the market moving from 2.5% in 2017 to 2.8% in 2018 and 3.1% in 2019. As one might expect, this upward progress has been somewhat halted by the arrival of the novel coronavirus.
What are the most popular claims?
Let’s run through a few of the more popular types of personal injury claim.
Road traffic accidents
Around half of all personal injury claims involve a vehicle colliding with another. The claimant may have been driving at the time, but equally they might have been a passenger, or a pedestrian, or a cyclist who happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.
A significant chunk of personal injury claims are filed against employers, following workplace accidents. Many employees might naturally hesitate before taking action against their bosses – but businesses have a duty to protect workforces, and negligence can be remedied through the courts.
This category covers trips and falls when you’re out and about. Whether you’ve stubbed your toe on a piece of wonky paving that the council should have fixed, or you’ve slipped on a spillage in the frozen foot aisle, you’ll be able to make a claim wherever you can attribute blame.
What impact might Covid have?
As we’ve already mentioned, coronavirus has depressed the number of overall claims. This is so for two reasons. Firstly, the lockdown reduced the volume of people working, which means that the likelihood of a workplace accident has decreased. Secondly, the number of cars on the road has also decreased, which means fewer accidents on the road. The government’s road traffic statistics record on an annual basis, but anecdotal evidence suggests fewer claims. This is good news for those who might have fallen victim, but it’s not quite so good for the personal injury lawyers who might have acted on their behalf.