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Q1. To whom does the Employees' Compensation Ordinance (ECO) apply?

A1. The ECO applies to all full-time or part-time employees who are employed under contracts of service or apprenticeship, including civil servants, local domestic helpers, foreign domestic helpers, crew members of a Hong Kong ship and persons employed in any capacity on board a Hong Kong ship; and it also applies to employees employed by local employers under contracts engaged in Hong Kong to work outside Hong Kong.

 

Q2. If my injury was partly caused by my own negligence and partly caused by another person's fault, would the compensation be reduced? How would the level or percentage of such a reduction be decided?

A2. Where there is contributory negligence on your part (i.e. your own negligence partly contributed to your injury), the Court may reduce the amount of compensation awarded to you to the extent that is fair and reasonable. Contributory negligence is often expressed as a percentage based on the plaintiff's share in the responsibility for the injury.

 

Q3. I was convicted of the criminal liability of "wounding with intent" and the victim sued me for medical and other compensation through personal injury proceedings. Would it be possible to reduce the amount of compensation?

A3. The amount of compensation payable may be reduced in a number of ways. For example, was the plaintiff the instigator in the wounding event? Has the defendant been ordered by the Court (in the relevant criminal case) to pay the plaintiff under a compensation order? If the answers are negative, the normal method of calculation of compensation applies and the amount of compensation is not reduced.

 

Q4. I was injured at work. Is the legal procedure for my claim against my employer for employment/work-related injuries different from the procedure for a personal injury claim?

A4. For work-related injuries, the procedure for employees' compensation under the Employees' Compensation Ordinance is not the same as in personal injury cases, as described above. A number of different statutory forms apply to employees' compensation instead of the pre-trial procedure under the Practice Direction 18.1 (set by the Judiciary) for personal injury litigation.

 

Q5. My son was injured in an accident. He wants to make a personal injury claim but he is under 18 years of age. Can he commence the legal action by himself, or should I take up the proceedings on his behalf?

A5. For a person to make a personal injury claim in his/her own name, that person cannot be under any disability. In other words, he/she must be at least 18 years of age and not mentally incapacitated. A person under such disability who wishes to make a claim must do so through his/her guardian. Once a guardian is appointed, the legal action can proceed normally. In response to the question, you should initiate legal action on behalf of your son.

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