Figures obtained by the Employment Law Advisory Service show a worrying trend of increasing personal injury cases involving children at school. Over the period of five years, £3.3m has been paid out, although these figures only include three major cities, so the real cost is likely to be much higher. 1,980 personal injury claims were submitted against primary and secondary schools in Birmingham, Manchester, and London during that period, with approximately a quarter proving successful.
Personal injury is the legal term that is associated with any injury to the body that has been caused by the negligence of another. Such cases have become increasingly common in adults, with gangs of fraudulent criminals even acting together in order to try and make substantial claims. Injuries not only include physical injuries, but may also include injuries to the mind or emotions, and the size of compensation packages is typically determined by the severity and effects of the injuries themselves.
The Metropolitan areas of London, Manchester, and Birmingham have nearly 15 million residents, which is about a quarter of all the people living in the UK. London had the largest bill, with claims totalling £1.6m across its 33 boroughs, but Manchester had £1.5m of claims in just 10 boroughs and Birmingham had to pay out a total of £190,000.
In terms of the injuries that led to claims, a £56,000 payment was made to one child who had collided with another on an inflatable slide. £13,500 was paid to one child who had slipped on a wet floor. In total, across the three cities, nearly 2,000 claims were made in the five year period and almost a quarter of them were successful and led to children being awarded payment.
Critics say that it is fostering a culture where children are no longer able to take the risks associated with growing up. However, if a child does suffer injury and requires care and medical treatment then they have the right to seek compensation. Care costs, medical costs, and a parents’ loss of earnings can soon add up, and it is these costs that compensation aims to cover.
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