What does Brexit mean for personal injury Claimants?

Posted by Malcolm Johnson on
personal injury

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BL Claims Solicitors specialise in personal injury, clinical negligence and travel claims, providing our clients with hands-on support, nationally.

We are rated as one of the top firms in the UK and believe in speaking to our clients in jargon-free language and ensuring you're speaking to a highly qualified lawyer right from the outset

Malcolm Johnson takes a look at what could change for victims of personal injury when the UK leaves the European Union.

Motor insurance – at present our motor insurance law is covered by five European Directives, which were recently consolidated. These Directives lay down the minimum cover that a motorist within the European Union must have to drive legally. They also provide that each Member State has to have its own Motor Insurers Bureau, to compensate victims of uninsured and untraced drivers. Over the years, these victims have been able to use the Directives to get compensation. Once the UK leaves the European Union, they will have to rely on domestic law, which may not be so favourable.

Cross border claims – at present the European Union has a system whereby a person in one member state can sue someone in another member state. This is important if you are hit by a German driver in France. Once we leave, we will be back to the system that existed prior to our joining the European Union. That could leave people injured in foreign countries in a less favourable position.

Consumer Protection – at present we have the Consumer Protection Act 1987. This statute is designed to protect consumers from injury resulting from products. It implements a European Community Directive, known as the “product liability directive” by introducing a regime of strict liability for damage arising from defective products. In certain circumstances, courts can rely on the Directive itself. Once we leave the EU, we may be relying on something different.

Health and Safety Claims –Every year hundreds of thousands of workers suffer accidents at work.  The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 is the main piece of UK health and safety legislation. It places a duty on all employers "to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the health, safety and welfare at work" of all their employees. There are also a series of regulations which covers different types of work situation, such as the storage of hazardous chemicals. Recently the government legislated to stop personal injury Claimants relying on a breach of these regulations. Many of these regulations have come about as a result of European Directives, which are designed to harmonise workers’ protection across Europe. Once we leave Europe, our workers’ protection is going to be different from that of their colleagues abroad. 

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If you would like to talk to someone and discuss a potential claim please call us on 0344 620 6600 anytime between 8am and 6pm Monday to Friday, or if you would prefer you can email us at info@blclaims.co.uk

About the Author

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Malcolm is an Senior Associate in our London office, with nearly twenty years' experience.

Malcolm Johnson
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