In today’s society, claims for personal injury are the subject of much misunderstanding. Below are some examples of some common misconceptions, and the truth behind these:
Insurance companies claim their backs are against the wall and they are being forced to raise premiums as a result of the UKs “compensation culture”. They continue to pressure the government to change the law in order to make it more difficult for those injured on the road or at work to make a claim for personal injury.
However, this is contradicted by their half- year figures released this month which actually show a rise in profit. Direct Line has increased its operating profit by 9.5% to £354.2m. Meanwhile, RSA posted a 15% rise to £360m.
Despite this increase in profit, the premiums for consumers continue to rise.
Another common myth is that claiming for any type of mishap is a guarantee that compensation will come your way. The reality is that in order to succeed with a claim the injured person must prove ‘on the balance of probabilities’ that the Defendant has been negligent. The accident must have been foreseeable and the action or failures of the Defendant must have led to the injury. This is the difference between a simple accident and negligence that causes injuries which could have been avoided.
This is particularly relevant to workers who have been criticised for being too eager to claim compensation for injury suffered in an accident at work. However, figures show that claims of this type have halved in the last 10 years. Yet, despite this drop the government has made it even harder for Claimants by changing the burden of proof to favour the employer.
Drag cases out to make more money
Then there is the frustrating myth that lawyers drag the cases out to get their costs up. We have a professional duty to act in the best interests of every single one of our clients, and we pride ourselves on providing no nonsense legal advice. Most personal injury claims go through a procedure for which costs are fixed, meaning there is no gain to be made by dragging them out. Costs could also be reduced if Defendants were to admit liability early, which unfortunately continues to happen less since the introduction of fixed costs.
People who have suffered injury as a result of someone else’s negligence should not be put off making a claim. This just allows negligent Defendants to avoid righting their wrongs and leaves the state to foot the bill for medical care and any benefits arising from the injury.
Everyone should have access to justice and the chance to fight for what they are owed.