Will Brexit affect personal injury law?

It’s impossible to turn on the news without some talk of Brexit and what this means for different aspects of life and work in the UK. Much of the talk at the moment is about what will happen after the UK leaves the EU on 31st October, whether that be with or without a deal. What is not discussed so frequently is what effect leaving the EU may have on aspects of current UK personal injury law.

Brexit and personal injury law

Much of the legal framework that offers protection to those unlucky enough to suffer a personal injury as a result of someone else’s negligence originate from EU directives. EU directives are legal acts which require every EU member state to uphold a certain law and incorporate it into the national legal framework by a particular deadline. Some people claim that as much as 70% of UK law can be linked back to EU directives. Much of this has a direct effect on the UK, meaning that there does not need to be a corresponding UK law in order for it to be upheld. This could mean that leaving the EU – and therefore no longer being bound by these laws – could leave large gaps in current legislation and potentially make it much harder for people to pursue a personal injury claim.

Health and safety claims

One key piece of legislation in respect of personal injury law is the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, which ensures that workplaces across the EU meet certain minimum standards. Various other regulations stem from this Act, including the duty for employers to ensure that the workplace does not expose an employee to risks that could result in an accident. It’s not just about health and safety at work either; The Consumer Protection Act of 1987 was intended to improve product safety standards, safeguarding buyers against the purchase of faulty goods and services across the EU.

Travel claims

Another important consideration relates to claims for personal injuries resulting from accidents whilst on holiday. At present, EU directives protect victims of road traffic accidents caused by uninsured or untraced drivers that take place whilst they are on holiday in the EU. Following Brexit, it may no longer be as straightforward to pursue such claims from the UK.

Personal injury claims advice

There would only be widespread change if the UK Government acted to repeal existing EU laws affecting personal injury claims. While this is unlikely to occur directly after October 31st, we will be keeping a close eye on how things develop here at Mackrell and Thomas Solicitors. If you have any questions or concerns about how your claim might be affected, our expert team are here to help.