This article highlights aspects of the tort system of compensation for personal injury in the UK by comparing the provision made for workers under the state’s industrial injury scheme. The relative significance of the two schemes has rarely been considered and has not been dealt with in any UK law journal. Although lawyers are ever-present in tort claims, they have little involvement with applications for social security benefit. Partly as a result, there is a stark contrast between the voluminous literature on the common law, on the one hand, and the very limited information about statute-based workers’ compensation on the other. This article tries to redress the balance by bringing the industrial scheme back into the spotlight. Comparisons are made of entitlement under both systems and the value of the compensation they provide. The industrial scheme is shown to pay benefits which, in the long term, can often exceed the lump sum paid in tort. A wide range of statistics is used to illustrate the relative importance and practical effect of the two regimes. In tracing the history of worker’s compensation the enduring significance of the industrial scheme is revealed together with other findings which may surprise those familiar only with litigation at common law.
Lewis, Richard, Industrial Injuries Compensation: Tort and Social Security Compared (April 19, 2017).