During these unprecedented times, many businesses are experiencing financial difficulties. Unfortunately there are likely to be many business “casualties” and companies collapsing as a result of COVID-19. If you have suffered an injury and want to pursue a case, you may wonder whether you can in fact still make a claim against a business that has ceased trading, or has entered into administration or liquidation.
Until the current pandemic, the most common cases that involved claims against a defunct company were those by people diagnosed with occupational diseases such as Noise Induced Hearing Loss, Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome, Pleural Plaques or other asbestos-related diseases. Such conditions develop over time, after many years of exposure. By the time a person has received a diagnosis, the individual’s former employers may have ceased trading.
But we suspect that because of COVID-19, there will be many more people seeking to claim against businesses that had previously been robust but are now ceasing to trade.
The good news is that if you are bringing a claim against an employer who has now ceased to trade, they would have been obliged by law to carry Employers’ Liability Insurance. So long as this insurance was in place at the time of your injury, the claim can be pursued directly against their insurance company. Your solicitor will carry out an Employers’ Liability Tracing Office search to ensure that an insurer can be located.
If a Court action is ultimately required, then a company will need to be “restored” to The Register of Companies. This involves making a special application to the Court. Your solicitor will know the appropriate steps to take.
In short, the fact that a company has ceased to trade can, on occasion, prevent a claim being made. However, in many cases it is irrelevant and there will be an insurer who is “good for the money”, presuming that negligence against the company can be established. That, of course, depends on individual facts in every case.
If you have had an accident and would like to claim compensation, please get in touch with us today for a confidential discussion.