Compensation for seriously injured people should continue to be calculated on the assumption that they make risk-free investments with the money, the Northern Ireland Assembly’s Committee for Justice heard this afternoon.
The committee is taking evidence on the Damages (Return on Investment) Bill. The Bill will change the methodology for how compensation is calculated, so that injured people must take risks when investing their compensation.
“It risks leaving people undercompensated for injuries which are caused by someone else’s fault,” Oonagh McClure, representing the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL) told the committee.
“Injured people are not canny investors. They are not investing to gain but instead to make sure the compensation lasts for a long as they need it to last.
“APIL believes the current methodology is the best way of ensuring injured people get 100 per cent of the compensation they need,” said Ms McClure.
In a written briefing to the committee ahead of today’s session, APIL explained that injured people are right to be risk averse: “The compensation they are given is all they will ever have. Many survive – rather than actually live – in fear of what will happen if the money runs out. Damages must, therefore, be calculated on the assumption of risk-free investments, as recognised under the current method, and reviewed on a regular basis,” it reads.