Q1. To whom does the Employees' Compensation Ordinance
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
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.