The president of the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL), Karl Tonks, has vowed to get those who have suffered as a result of an industrial disease or an accident that was not their fault, the justice they deserve.
The city of Manchester is leading the campaign for APIL. There are hopes to set up a fund for those who have suffered as a result of asbestos exposure and are unable to locate their employer or their insurers. Many who have been exposed to asbestos will not get symptoms until a number of years after their employment. Lost or destroyed insurance documents can then make it very difficult for a victim to make a claim. There is currently a similar fund in place for those who have been injured as a result of an uninsured driver on the road and Mr Tonks hopes to get the same result for those suffering from industrial diseases.
Not only is Mr Tonks seeking to set up a fund of last resort, he also wishes to tackle insurance companies who unnecessarily delay the claims process. He then went on to criticise some aspects of the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Bill which should come into force in April 2013. Under this bill, claimants will have to pay their solicitors success fees and Mr Tonks is concerned that disadvantaged victims will not be able to afford to make a claim. It has become and will continue to be more difficult for those who are injured to bring a claim for compensation.
Mr Tonks has stated that it is the job of APIL and himself to ensure that those who have been injured are heard and that the needs of businesses and insurance companies to keep costs down should be secondary.