Whether it be a woman receiving millions in compensation after being burnt by her Mcdonald’s coffee, or rising cases of ‘crash for cash’ fraudulent claims- it’s fair to say that the Personal Injury industry is one with a tainted reputation. What’s often forgotten though, is that the majority of compensation claims are necessary, just- and can truly make a difference to someone’s life.
An example is the case of Emily Casey. She had meningitis as a child which caused scoliosis later in her life, for which she required medical intervention. However, on the day of surgery, a screw was misplaced in her spinal chord and Casey was left paralysed from the chest down.
“It shouldn’t have happened. I don’t think I processed the news when I heard it. I kept going and tried to help her in any way that I could. I was very angry and upset. I was devastated and shocked. But I didn’t stop doing what I was doing, which was minding her. Even the nurses couldn’t believe that it happened.” Says her mother.
Emily was left in hospital for a year after the surgery mishap, and as a result was awarded €4.8million. This, of course, could never restore her life back to what it originally was, but did allow her to make vital changes e.g. making her home as wheelchair accessible as possible.
In light of exposing the positive side of the compensation industry, the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL) have recently published ‘Compensation explained: A guide to personal injury compensation, its purpose, and its value to society’.
‘APIL aims for everyone in our society to understand the importance of a right to redress for suffering needless harm, whether or not you have experience of the personal injury system. We are determined to do all we can to ensure that some harmful and misguided perceptions about personal injury are turned around.’
It goes on to explain the different forms of damage, outlining general damages- compensation for pain, suffering and the detrimental effect on quality of life. Special damages for past losses- compensation for upfront expenses related to the injury. As well as, Special damages for future loss- compensation for the loss of earnings in the future, or the loss of earning potential, and future care.
The document also covers frequently asked questions and breaks down the different forms of injury- giving an example case study, and a breakdown of damages, from cosmetic mishaps to workplace injuries.
If you would like to discover more about the purpose of compensation click here to see the full document.