Government must not pander to insurers protecting their own profits when deciding the fate of people who have been critically injured through no fault of their own, lawyers warned today.
Neil Sugarman, president of the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL) was responding to the Government’s consultation on changing the way compensation is calculated for people who have been catastrophically injured (the ‘discount rate’).
“In remaining the same for 16 years the discount rate failed to reflect seismic economic changes, which means injured people have gone seriously under-compensated for far too long. This is why it was corrected earlier this year,” he explained.
“Frenzied insurance industry rhetoric following the correction is designed to hide the fact that insurers have enjoyed a windfall in recent years at the expense of people whose lives have been shattered.
“The formula for making the calculation does not require injured people to invest their compensation in high risk investments. This is exactly how it should be when that money is supposed to look after them for the rest of their lives.
“Make no mistake: this calculation, by definition, only applies to the most severely injured people who may need round the clock care. Their homes will need special adaptations for wheelchairs and other equipment, and they may never be able to earn a living again,” he said.
“This is all because they were injured through negligence. This could happen to any of us, at any time. The purpose of insurance is to cover these eventualities. The insurance industry must not be allowed to shirk its responsibilities.”