Reading recent articles on the so-called "compensation culture" the public may be forgiven for thinking that big awards are paid out for ridiculously trivial accidents and injuries.
A recent example from a national newspaper referred to "£6,000 was awarded to an employee who broke a wrist during a demonstration on a first aid course, £5,500 for an employee who fell out of bed while answering a work phone call, and £1,750 to an obese member of staff who was injured when using a 'defective toilet unsuitable for a very heavy employee'". Sensational headlines, but what is the reality behind them?
Rhiannon Daniel, Personal Injury Solicitor at Trethowans Solicitors says "In many personal injury claims the bulk of the damages are awarded not for the injuries themselves, but to compensate the injured person for their financial losses such as loss of earnings, the cost of medical treatment and the cost of care. The full breakdown of the damages awarded is rarely provided in brief media articles. What we should never lose sight of is that a person who has been genuinely injured through the fault or negligence of another has the right to some form of redress. Awards are not made in frivolous or fraudulent cases. If an award is made it is because the injured person has suffered injury and loss through no fault of their own".