Report claims 86% of those injured at work do not get compensation

Compensation culture in the UK is a “myth” according to a joint report by the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL and the Trade Union Congress (TUC).

The report, titled ‘The Compensation Myth’, claims that workplace compensation cases have fallen by more than 50% in the last decade. It also asserts that 85.7% of people who are injured or fall ill at work do not receive any compensation.

APIL president Matthew Stockwell said: “Either these injured people are choosing not to claim, or they can’t prove that their injury is due to someone else’s negligence.

“Unfortunately, employers tend to have the upper hand, as they control the workplace and have all the information on the equipment and systems in place. So there will be people who have a need and a right to claim but can’t, which is precisely the opposite of a so-called ‘have-a-go’ culture.”

He added: “There is a general lack of understanding about the way the personal injury system works. Compensation claims can only be made where negligence has been proven. Not every mishap has a price tag attached.”

APIL and the TUC say the report is designed to dispel seven common misconceptions about compensation.

According to the report, there were 183,342 compensation claims in 2002/03 but only 91,115 in 2012/13 - a fall of 50.3%.

The report states: “There is no compensation culture. Even people asked to look at it by the government have concluded that it is a problem of perception – in other words a myth.”

The report comes despite insurers reporting increased incidences of industrial deafness claims in their 2013 results. Both AXA UK and RSA had to strengthen reserves in 2013 because of the rise in deafness claims.