Association of Personal Injury Lawyers
A not-for-profit organisation representing injured people

Severely injured people must not be forced to take risks with compensation

08 Mar 2021
APIL news

Plans to change the way damages are calculated in Northern Ireland could leave people with life-changing injuries undercompensated and relying on the State, lawyers warn ahead of a debate in the Assembly (9 March).

“It is critical that the compensation is enough to cover the medical and social care, and financial needs, of catastrophically injured people for the rest of their lives,” said Oonagh McClure from the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL) a not-for-profit group which campaigns on behalf of injured people.

“The plans to change the method of calculating compensation would force injured people to take risks when investing their compensation, to make it stretch to last a lifetime,” she explained.

APIL calls for the Assembly to ensure that compensation continues to be calculated on the assumption of risk-free investments.

“Injured people are already expected to invest their lump sum compensation payments under the current method, but are assumed to be very risk averse “or risk free” investors, which is how it should be,” said Ms McClure.

“Injured people are not stockbrokers. Most will never work. They can’t simply earn more money. Many are terrified that their compensation will run out.

“Imagine being pushed into a situation where you might lose the only money you will ever have,” Ms McClure went on.

“Compensation must be calculated on the assumption of risk-free investments. This is an issue of need: the actual needs of people who have been injured through no fault of their own must be met in a fair and just 21st century society,” she said.


Notes to editors:

  • The second stage debate of the Damages (Return on Investment) Bill is anticipated to take place from 10.40am until 12.40pm
  • The Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL) is a not-for-profit campaign group which has been committed to injured people for more than 30 years. Our vision is of a society without needless injury but, when people are injured, they receive the justice they need to rebuild their lives.  We have more than 3,200 members who are committed to supporting the association’s aims, and all are signed up to APIL’s code of conduct and consumer charter.  Membership comprises mostly solicitors, along with barristers, legal executives, paralegals and some academics.
  • For more information contact APIL's communications manager Jane Hartwell on t: 0115 943 5416, e:, or press and communications officer Lizzy Fowler t: 0115 943 5431, e:
  • Visit the association's website at
  • Follow @APIL on Twitter:

Past press releases

Commissioner needed to solve patient safety crisis, 02 Nov 2021
Public wants ban on injury compensation calls and texts , 08 Sep 2021
Action needed now to stop the misery of needless injuries, 04 Aug 2021
Injury Prevention Week: it’s common sense!, 02 Aug 2021
Principle of openness 'undermined' by plans for patient safety probes, 14 Jul 2021
Seriously injured people are “not canny investors” hears justice committee, 10 Jun 2021
Whiplash injury compensation slashed, 03 Jun 2021
Government must act now on bereavement damages law, 14 May 2021

More past press releases

Head of Public Affairs
Lorraine Gwinnutt
0115 943 5400

Communications Manager
Jane Hartwell
0115 943 5416

Press & Communications Officer
Iman Anthony
0115 943 5431