17 December 2010
Accident Compensation under Exceptional Circumstances
I have commented, albeit briefly over the last few months, on the difficult economic times we are now in.
Unless the global financial market stabilises and one would have to assume that this would need to be over the course of the next 12 months and no later, we are likely to be faced with an even more turbulent time in the future as I cannot imagine for one moment that the recession that we are in will be over within the next 2 to 3 years. Many will lose their jobs.
We should be grateful for small mercys in the current economic climate as well as in life generally, however redundancy will occur and the Government has already announced significant cuts. If a Claimant loses his job as a result of the injuries sustained in an accident, there is an argument for what is known as damages for loss of congenial employment.
These damages which consist of a lump sum which is rarely more than £10,000.00 to £15,000.00 and generally less, are meant to reflect the fact that in the absence of the accident the Claimant would not have lost the job that he or she loved and which was seen very much as a vocation. It is thought to some extent, that damages are generally only payable to vocational jobs such as in the police force, nursing, fire service and similar. I have never seen an argument however, that this type of award should be limited to Claimants in those types of employment.
It is hoped at the very least, that we like the work that we do. I fully accept that this is not always the case however, if evidence can be produced, normally by way of witness statements from friends and colleagues, that the Claimant enjoyed the job that he was doing at the time of the accident, that it was challenging at times but nevertheless overall the enjoyment remained and was a labour of love perhaps on occasions to put the point at its highest, I see no reason why this type of award should not be widely available.
Certainly in current economic environments, there are going to be many more of us who are grateful for the job that we have and this type of award should be included in the vast majority of cases where the award is relevant.It would certainly be very difficult, given the recession, for the Defendants to challenge such an award.
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