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September 16, 2015

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Personal injury figures – report shows rise in employee disease claims

Smaller claimant firms are focusing on more lucrative classes of personal injury claim, which includes employers’ liability disease claims – and moving away from road traffic accident (RTA) personal injury claims, according to a report by UK law firm Weightmans.

Weightmans analysed Compensation Recovery Unit (CRU) and the claims portal data – over 7.9 million claims – in order to identify trends across the various classes of claims.

Dramatic rise

According to the report, published in July 2015, Compensation Recovery Unit (CRU) data suggests a slight decline in employers’ liability claims since 2011; there has been a limited shift in the number of monthly Claim Notification Forms (CNFs) since August 2014. In 2011 the repudiation rate for employers’ liability claims was 23%, increasing to 30% in 2014. By 2015, the figure has increased again to 33%.

In terms of disease related claims, the analysis found a dramatic rise, with headline figures showing a rise of 139% between 2011 and 2014 from 18,570 claims to 44,158. According to Weightmans, the large number of noise-induced hearing loss (‘NIHL’) claims could be fuelled by a number of solicitor firms moving into NIHL claims handling and away from whiplash cases. Despite there being no mandatory requirement to register claims unless the loss exceeds 50 dBs in one or both ears or there is a complaint of tinnitus, some insurers have chosen to register all NIHL claims regardless.

Weightmans add that the research confirms a number of insurers still do not register all NIHL claims, and so the volume recorded by CRU is a significant underestimate of the true situation. Claims for other occupational diseases have remained largely steady since 2011, with the exception of a rise in asbestos claims.

Other headline figures from the report include:

  • Motor: RTA claim numbers for 2015 are still expected to account for the majority of personal injury claims (6904403)
  • Public liability: there has only been a marginal reduction in public liability claims. Registered claims have remained at around 100,000 since 2011
  • Abuse: there has been an increase in the number of claims registered with the CRU as “sexual abuse” or “physical claims”
  • Clinical negligence: The CRU data indicates a significant increase in clinical negligence claims since 2011.

For more information on the report visit Weightmans LLP

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