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Title: Accident will make it hard for me to get new jobs

Date: 23 January 2012

MCN Law

Compensation for disability on labour market

Question

A mate of mine got compensation after his accident for being disabled on the labour market. Although he was able to return to work he remains disabled and if his company shut down or fired him I doubt he would get another job. In my accident claim I asked my solicitor about this but he is doubtful I can claim. I too am back at work but with permanent shoulder damage and loss of use. My job is quite heavy manual work at times and I do struggle although colleagues help me out. Can I claim this?

Michael Spender, Dorset

Answer

On the face of it yes you can. The idea is that where an injured person is disadvantaged in seeking employment in the labour market as a result of the residual disability resulting from an injury, they are entitled to claim compensation referred to as a Smith v Manchester award.

It is an award for a contingent future loss, in the event of the claimant losing his current job, where, as a result of the accident, he would then be at a handicap on the labour market at which he would not have been but for the accident.

Therefore if you lost your job and had to seek alternative employment you would clearly be disadvantaged when compared to an uninjured otherwise comparable person. I would claim for 2 years loss of net earnings although the awards are commonly 12 to 18 months.

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