UK Disability History Month is an important time where we improve our understanding of those who suffer from disabilities. This includes learning about their struggles of life and their rights for access. It is essential that we find ways to help disabled people in the UK become independent and live their lives to the fullest. If a service or product is accessible to the UK public, it should also be accessible to those who are living with disabilities.
Now, for Gowing Law, as we are a legal firm, we focus on personal injuries from the perspective of a solicitor. That’s why we want to use this blog to talk about the history of disability & UK law, as well as the impact that disability can have on a personal injury claim.
Before we jump into the meat of this blog, we would just want to remind you that if you have suffered from a personal injury that was not your fault, whether it be due to a traffic accident in the winter weather or a beauty treatment gone wrong, Gowing Law will be here to help you. Find out more about your own personal injury claim by using Gowing Law’s claims checker by clicking the button below:
UK Disability History Month: The History of UK Law & Disabilities
As you can see from our video, the UK has gone on a long journey to ensure that people with disabilities are treated equally. For this month, it is important that we take the time to consider how far we have come. In the 1700’s disabled people were not treated fairly. That’s why it’s important nowadays to learn from our mistakes and make sure we understand how our actions can impact the needs of others.
According to the government, it is important to:
“enable persons with disabilities to live independently and participate fully in all aspects of life, States parties shall take appropriate measures to ensure to persons with disabilities access, on an equal basis with others…”
Remember, it is up to all of us to shape the world so that we can make it better for each other. Universal access is essential to make sure that we all have the same rights. Keep this in mind as you think about how far we have come. If you are in a position of authority, make sure also to express this to your employees and others. Just keep in mind, physical and mental disability can require certain additional types of support. That’s why transformation is needed to ensure that everyone is safe and given the chance they need to prosper.
UK Disability History Month: Personal Injuries & Disabilities
Personal injury claims can get complicated. Not only do you have to consider how much you could claim for your injuries, but if the other party refuses to pay a settlement agreement then you may find that you have to go to UK court to get it sorted out.
Now, letting your solicitor know that you suffer from a disability could have an impact on the total damages you are owed. Not informing your lawyer about your disabilities could mean that you are under-compensated for the injuries you suffered from.
The first thing you need to consider is the actual definition of a disability. You can be classified as disabled if:
How can I prove that I have a disability?
It’s very likely that if you suffer from a disability, and are involved in an accident that was not your fault, that you could claim a higher amount of compensation. Think about it this way, you may have medical needs that are worsened due to the impact of the accident. Someone with a physical disability, such as spinal injuries, multiple sclerosis or cerebral palsy may end up suffering more if they are hit by a falling object or are the victim of criminal injuries. At the same time, someone with a mental disability may be more vulnerable and therefore be owed greater compensation if specific measures were not taken to ensure that they were safeguarded from risk.
You will need to prove that you have a disability during your case. This means supplying evidence. The best thing you can do is have medical evidence to back it up. For instance, get a doctor’s note or ask them to write up a letter to say that you have been in contact with them about your disabilities. Your evidence will need to prove each of the definitions of a disability. The court will then decide on whether or not you’re disabled. If it is affirmed that you suffer from a disability, it is likely that the amount of compensation that you are owed will increase.
UK Disability History Month: Work Accidents & Discrimination
Another thing that you should consider, if you do have an injury, is what you should do if you are involved in a workplace accident. Now, in most cases, you may have simply got hurt out of bad luck. You may have been doing your every duties and unfortunately, you were in the wrong place at the wrong time. However, in other cases, you may have been put in a vulnerable position through mismanagement.
Disability discrimination can come in many different forms, both indirectly and directly. For instance, if it was direct discrimination then you may experience name-calling or teasing related to your condition. If it was indirect discrimination, you may find that if you were someone with a learning difficulty, a safety manual was produced that was too complicated for you to understand. Even if it was not meant to be taken as discrimination, the result can still make your life harder and can sometimes even lead to accidents.
Unfortunately, people do get hurt in the office, even when it is not their fault. You may have been put in a vulnerable situation due to mis-management. It does not matter if you have physical or mental disabilities, your manager should be making appropriate changes to your working environment to suit your particular needs. If this does not happen, you could get hurt.
Make sure to seek medical assistance as quickly as possible if you are in a work-place accident. You should alert your manager and colleagues. That way it can be recorded in your work place-accident book. You are entitled to a copy of the accident report.
Do I need evidence to prove that I was hurt?
If you can prove that appropriate changes were not made to help with your disabilities, this may add to the amount you are owed in compensation in your claim. That’s why it is essential that you have evidence to back up your claim. You need to show why your injury was not your fault. Instead you suffered due to the negligence (and potential discrimination) of your employer.
Your evidence may include:
- Accident reports
- Witness Statements
- Medical Reports
- Police Reports
- Receipts (i.e. for costs)
- Loss of opportunity statements (i.e. wages & promotions)
- Diary entries
Remember, you are not only claiming for your physical damages, but also your emotional and financial damages as well. This means evidence may need to be collected as soon as possible after the accident has taken place.
What will happen if I am claiming for benefits during my compensation claim?
If you make a compensation claim for a personal injury, your benefits may be changed depending on the outcome of the case. If your household assets are more than £6,000, you may not be eligible to claim state benefits. So if you have a successful injury claim, and you end up receiving a “lump sum”, you may end up getting a reduced amount of benefits. It’s important that you talk about these problems with your solicitor. After all, we do not want to affect your future benefits. The benefits that could be changed may include:
- Income support
- Jobseeker’s allowance
- Universal credit
- Council tax support
- Housing benefits
- Pension credits
- Medical benefits
What should I do if I am discriminated in the workplace?
If you have a disability, you should not be discriminated against in the workplace because of it. You are entitled to fair treatment whilst you are at work. If you notice that you are being mistreated because of your disability, you should bring it up with your manager as quickly as possible. If nothing happens to resolve it, it is your right to escalate it to the UK courts. You also have the right to claim legal protection for you and your witnesses during the tribunal.
Before you start your claim, it is always important that you start a line of communication about the discrimination with those responsible for your wellbeing. That way you can prove that you did your best to sort the problem out before it went too far. You can keep any emails as evidence. Make sure to also make notes about any meetings you have with management or colleagues and ensure that you can keep a timeline of events.
If nothing happens to resolve your issues, you can use this evidence to plead your case that you were discriminated against in your work place, due to your disabilities.
UK Disability History Month: Why is it so important?
In order to understand how we can better the present, it is important that we look to the past. That way we will know how we can improve ourselves and make life easier for the people around us. Universal access and equality are essential for making sure people feel like they are getting the justice they deserve. Whilst Gowing Law mainly focuses on getting people the compensation they deserve in the present, we understand that there is still a lot of work to be done in order to make sure everyone is treated fairly.
Make sure to do your part for UK Disability History Month and have a look at the website to see how you can spread the word. It can be something as simple as talking about it, but you may also want to consider putting on your own event as well!
Gowing Law Solicitors can help you with your claim!
Here at Gowing Law, we want to make sure that all of our clients get the compensation that they deserve. That’s why we are ready to help you with your compensation claim! No matter what sort of personal injury you have suffered from, if it is not your fault then we will make sure you get the pay-out that you deserve.
We can offer you free advice and consultations to get you started. They can advise you on how much you could be owed. It’s also so we can figure out the best way to get the highest amount of compensation possible. If you are happy to work with our experienced solicitors, we can offer our services on a “no win-no fee” basis. That means you will always come out on top, even if your case is not won. You will not need to pay any hidden fees and we will always be upfront with you about the costs of legal representation in your personal injury claims case.
Contact us today by calling 0800 041 8350, emailing info@gowinglaw or by using our claims checker. From there one of our solicitors will guide you through the claims process. Feel free to ask them any questions that may be on your mind. They would be more than happy to help you.
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We look forward to seeing you in our next blog!