According to a YouGov survey commissioned by APIL, over the course of the next 7 days, approximately 30,000 people across the UK will become injured or ill due to negligence. That’s 30,000 injured people a week, which equates to almost 3 people a minute. I’m sure we can all agree that this is an alarming statistic.
The key term from this survey is ‘negligence’. The Oxford dictionary defines negligence as “failure to take proper care over something”. This would suggest that if steps are taken then perhaps this number could be reduced. Be that taking more care on our roads, whilst at work or at play.
When first visiting a client and their family following a catastrophic injury, it is not unusual for the client to be focused on the facts leading to the incident and why through no fault of their own their life has been turned upside down. Thoughts of “if only I had done something different today maybe I would not be in this position now”. The impact of an injury can be small, with the injured person making a full recovery. However, on the other side of the spectrum the injury can be life changing, having an impact far beyond the physical. There is the emotional toll and, in such cases, the financial implications in terms of loss of income and independence.
This Injury Awareness Week APIL are asking that everyone considers the impact of injuries on the people suffering them and how unjust it would be if those injuries were caused because of someone else’s negligence.
To be clear, I am not suggesting that we take no risks at all. Life is rarely ever risk free, however if we all try to be a little bit more careful, then perhaps this time next year the survey results could be different.
Finally, and returning to the first client visit, for me the most rewarding aspect of my work as a catastrophic injury solicitor is the change in focus during those final meetings. When you have helped make the difference in a person’s life, leaving them in a better place than when you first met them leaves you feeling like you do something worthwhile.