Association of Personal Injury Lawyers
A not-for-profit organisation representing injured people

Severe injury compensation plans condemned by lawyers

25 Aug 2020
APIL news

Severely injured people should not be forced to gamble compensation for life-changing injuries, lawyers warn in response to a Department of Justice (DoJ) consultation on how payments are calculated.

“The people affected by this consultation have life-long and life-changing injuries, which they would not have suffered were it not for negligence, said Maurece Hutchinson, Belfast-based Northern Ireland representative of the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL) They are compensated to pay for their care, specialist equipment, and living costs. They cannot simply earn their own money as they did before they were injured - in most cases the compensation is all the support they will ever have for the rest of their lives.

“The DoJ is consulting on whether compensation should be calculated in such a way that injured people will have to take risks when investing their compensation to ensure it will stretch for the rest of their lives,” Ms Hutchinson explained.

“If they don’t take that investment risk, they will have to fall back on the State to pay for their needs when the money runs out. This goes against the basic principles of compensation. It is supposed to meet an injured person’s needs after serious injury which was inflicted upon them by someone else’s negligence. The State should not have to pick up the bill,” she went on.

“Injured people should not be forced to take risks and gamble their compensation in a bid to get by. Catastrophically injured people are vulnerable and fearful for their futures. There has been much debate about whether injured people should shoulder some risk with their investments. They are averse to taking risks with this very important money and should be allowed to invest without taking risks at all,” Ms Hutchinson added.  


Notes to editors:

  • The Department of Justice (DoJ) consultation: Personal injury discount rate how should it be set is now closed for consideration. See APIL’s full response here.
  • APIL (Association of Personal Injury Lawyers) is a not-for-profit organisation whose members are dedicated to campaigning for improvements in the law to help people who are injured or become ill through no fault of their own.
  • For more information contact APIL's communications manager Jane Hartwell on t: 0115 943 5416, e:, or press and communications officer Lizzy Freeman t: 0115 943 5431, e:
  • Visit the association's website at
  • Follow @APIL on Twitter:

Past press releases

Laws on bereavement “woefully” out of date, 28 Apr 2021
New whiplash tariffs "offensive", say lawyers, 23 Apr 2021
Restrictions of rights for Scottish abuse survivors “unfair and unjust”, 10 Mar 2021
Peers urged to protect injured veterans from ‘baseless’ law change, 10 Mar 2021
Severely injured people must not be forced to take risks with compensation, 08 Mar 2021
Brexit decision blocks access to justice, 24 Feb 2021
Rogue electricians risk the lives of Scottish homeowners, 16 Feb 2021
Justice department faces legal challenge over injury compensation, 10 Dec 2020

More past press releases

Head of Public Affairs
Lorraine Gwinnutt
0115 943 5400

Communications Manager
Jane Hartwell
0115 943 5416

Press & Communications Officer
Lizzy Fowler
0115 943 5431