Industry news roundup: week ended 30 Dec 2013:
Whether you wok for a particular local authority or you simply drive on the roadways that they’re responsible for, claims against councils are on the up.
In fact, this week it was revealed that staff drivers for Wigan Council have racked up some £360,000 in personal injury compensation over the past four years. All told there were nearly 150 road traffic accidents where a vehicle owned by the local authority was damaged by a council employee.
There was some good news according to the data, as the last financial year saw only 34 incidents costing the council a total of £93,620. This sounds like quite a bit, but when you compare it to the 2010-2011 financial year’s 63 accidents costing £115,055 in successful personal injury claims, things are put in a bit of perspective; still, that figure seems much too high to me – and I’ll wager there are some very heated discussions going on behind closed doors in Wigan Council.
Meanwhile, it could always be worse – in fact most claims figures for local authorities are much higher, especially when it comes to injuries and damage sustained by local residents. A perfect – and perfectly harrowing – example of this is the £1.7 million that Worcestershire County Council has had to pay out in compensation over the past four years.
All told there were more than 3,300 claims made against the local authority, all from any number of sources. Accident claims on country roads, slips and trips on pavements or in council buildings, and injuries to pupils whilst in school comprise the lion’s share of the injuries – and personal injury claims in particular make up an overwhelming amount of the legal bill.
So I really don’t know what’s worse – living as a resident in Worcestershire County or being an employee of Wigan Council. Whatever your fate may be, it’s going to be rife with possible trips to the A and E department because some stupid idiot pranged you from behind and gave you a bad case of whiplash injury or something similar. I swear it’s enough to convince me to move to the Scottish highlands and live like a hermit just to keep away from other people. I suppose I’d get lonely eventually – but at least I’m not going to get into a rear-end shunt with a sheep!