Group Injury Compensation
An Explanation of Group Injury Compensation
Group injury compensation awards are frequently awarded to large numbers of people working in the same industry or involved in the same accident. The 1980s saw a massive upsurge in such cases in the USA as hundreds of thousands of people sued corporations for losses due to injuries or diseases that they attributed to catastrophic events, pharmaceutical products, medical devices, or toxic substances. Businesses and their insurers ended up paying out billions.
In Britain there was a similar trend and people nowadays are both much more aware of their rights and ready to sue. Group injury compensation actions are often the result of workplace related injuries that only develop over time such as black lung or vibration white finger and repetitive strain injuries. Victims of accidents on public transport and sporting events have also sued successfully. There are also cases of group injury compensation awards being paid to abuse victims in local authority care or those discriminated against in the armed forces or police and other institutions.
The advantage of seeking group injury compensation awards is that the large number of people increases the weight of evidence. In accidents where the company admits liability (such as in a rail crash) then it is often easier to pay all of those involved at one time. In cases where the company denies liability then acting as a group increases the likelihood of success. In some cases such as miner’s compensation there is a clear procedure for claiming.
The disadvantage of seeking group injury compensation awards is that the large amount of people can complicate the case. Another problem is that often these cases relate to events that took place in the past and the passage of time makes proving the nature and extent of injuries and suffering harder. The issue of future illnesses and claims can also complicate matters as manufacturers try and protect themselves from having to pay out money in years to come.
Despite these difficulties, group injury compensation actions look set to increase and substantial awards continue to be made. Future actions by smokers could bankrupt many of the large tobacco firms and manufacturers today are much more cautious about releasing new products.