Over the past two years, the state of the pavements and roads in Northern Ireland have cost the Government £4 million in personal injury compensation awards, according to figures recently released by the Department for Regional Development.
In comparison to the previous year”s total, the current figures are a good £2.2 million higher than the original £1.8 million worth in accident claim damages. Nearly one half of the total figure was paid out in compensation for personal injury claims made by members of the public that were injured whilst traveling upon the nation’s roads.
Pedestrian pavement injuries – which include trips and falls – cost the Government about £892,000, it was found, while damage sustained to vehicles on the footpaths and roads accounted for more than £220,000 of the entire bill.
Northern Ireland’s Social Democratic and Labour Party spokesman, John Dallatt, remarked that increases of nearly twenty per cent in a single 12 month period were in need of investigating. In addition to SDLP spokesman, Mr Dallatt serves on the Public Accounts Committee for Stormont.
Mr Dallatt continued, going on to say that with £4 million being disbursed in traffic accident claim compensation , the entire situation urgently needed both review and improvement. The SDLP spokesman also pointed out that Northern Ireland’s compensation figures had a tendency to be larger than payments made in Wales and England – something which he remarked would bear further investigation in its own right.
In related news, car insurance company Axa has recently pledged to do away with the practice of accepting referral fees for its policy holders that end up in personal injury traffic accident claims.