New data reveals impact of avoidable injuries

30,000 people believe they are victims of negligence each week in the UK, new research carried out by YouGov for Injury Awareness Week (26-30 June) has found.

Participants were asked if they have suffered an injury or illness in the last year which was caused because of negligence, for example by another road user, an employer, a colleague, or a medic.

“We need to shine a light on the impact these injuries can have on people who were doing nothing more than living their lives before they fell victim to the recklessness or carelessness of others,” said Mike Benner, chief executive of the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL) which commissioned the Injury Awareness Week study.

“Often these injures are severe, some are life-changing, and some are life-ending,” he said.

Of those UK adults who have ever become ill or been injured because of someone else’s negligence:

  • A quarter (25 per cent) had to give up work for a period of time.
  • Over a quarter (26 per cent) say that their mental health deteriorated.
  • More than one in five (21 per cent) could no longer pursue their interests or hobbies.
  • 15 per cent said that their relationships with friends or family suffered.
  • Just under one in ten (nine per cent) had to give up work permanently.
  • 13 per cent had to reduce their hours at work because of the negligence.

“The fact that the harm has been caused by negligence is significant, because negligence could and should be avoided,” said Mr Benner.

“An accident is simply an incident which no-one could have reasonably foreseen. Negligence is doing something, or failing to do something, that could cause injury to others. Employers have a duty to make sure we return home from a day’s work unscathed, for example, and drivers need to take care to not harm fellow road users.

“If someone were to take one thing away from this Injury Awareness Week, it’s the knowledge that any one of us could be among the 30,000 injured needlessly in a week. Avoidable injuries are an issue we should all be concerned about,” he said.