Brexit decision blocks access to justice

Justice for people injured by off-road vehicles is to be sacrificed in the name of Brexit, lawyers have warned.

“The Government’s decision not to adopt an EU rule that would ensure much-needed compensation for people injured by off-road vehicles is illogical and inexcusable,” said Sam Elsby, president of the Association of Personal Injury Lawyer (APIL). “Brexit and the promise of insurance premium savings have been used as an excuse once again for dismissing the needs of injured people.”

The EU ruling, which has been scrapped this week, requires compulsory insurance for vehicles used on private land. This would include vehicles like tractors, quad bikes, and off-road motorcycles.

“These vehicles can cause serious injuries, or worse, and their drivers must be insured to use them,” said Mr Elsby. “Paying insurance premiums is both an incentive to drive safely, and a way to ensure injured people can receive proper compensation to help put their lives back on track.”

“A driver is still responsible if his vehicle causes a serious injury and paralyses someone for life whether the driver is on or off the road. If someone is paralysed and left unable to walk, go back to work, or take care of himself, who is going to take care of him if there is no insurance? His medical care for the rest of his life will have to be covered by the already hard-pressed NHS.”

“Negligent drivers, regardless of the vehicle, must be held accountable when they maim someone,” said Mr Elsby. “Just because someone is injured by an off-road vehicle does not mean they should not be entitled to the same compensation as someone injured on a public road.”