Freeclaim Solicitors look at some common personal injury myths

The Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL) and the Trade Union Congress have produced a booklet containing seven common myths surrounding personal injury and claiming compensation after an accident.


United Kingdom – WEBWIRE – Saturday, May 31, 2014

Accident compensation in Britain is certainly not out of hand as the media and insurers would have us all believe. The compensation culture myth means that many accident victims are put off making a legitimate claim.

The Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL) and the Trade Union Congress have produced a booklet containing seven common myths surrounding personal injury and claiming compensation after an accident.
 
The media in the UK are regularly referring to a growing ‘compensation culture’ across the country. The aim of producing the information is to show that we do not have a compensation culture, and that people are only claiming personal injury after they have been genuinely hurt as a result of someone else’s failings.
 
The first myth discussed in the booklet is that employees are too quick to make a claim for compensation after an accident at work. Government figures however show that this is certainly not the case. Over the last decade, the number of accident at work claims has decreased by 50%. Even though the number of workplace claims has been declining, the Government are still making it more difficult for people to claim compensation after being injured at work, by changing the law to be in favour of employers rather than employees in relation to breaches of care.
 
Another comepnsation myth is that accident claims are becoming unmanageable and people in general are getting carried away with claiming compensation. However, figures show that over 85% of people who have been injured or develop an illness as a result of their workplace do not receive any compensation.
 
A third personal injury myth is that compensation payouts are too large. Compensation in the UK is based on reimbursing victims for losses they may have incurred as a result of an accident. They are in no way a “bonus” to victims. They compensation is to pay for any losses in wages as a result of an accident, as well as to pay for any help and assistance needed or treatment and rehabilitation fees. The amount claimed is assessed and the aim is to try and give the claimant the same quality of life they had before the accident occurred.
 
The fourth myth is that a compensation claim can be brought about for any accident, and not only when there is a breach of care from someone else. In order for a claim for compensation to be successful, the victim has to show that their injury was due to someone else’s negligence. This is becoming increasingly difficult, especially in cases involving accidents at work, as a recent change in law means that claimants now have to prove employers have been negligent, rather than the basis that there was a breach in health and safety standards.
 
Another personal injury myth is that it isn’t right for insurers to pay out compensation for workplace diseases (such as Asbestosis and Mesothelioma) when there was no foreseeable risk at the time. If employers can prove that there was no way they could have known there was a risk then they are not liable to pay compensation. However, guidelines around asbestos exposure have been around since 1931, and the dangers have been widely known since the 1940s. Despite this, insurers were happy to provide companies with policies, even though workers were being exposed to dangerous fibres and could die as a result. Therefore, if someone is suffering from an asbestos related illness, even if it is many years after the exposure, they have the right to claim compensation.
 
There is also a myth that unions encourage members to claim compensation after an accident at work, increasing the number of claims. However, the aim of unions is to help companies to avoid as many workplace accidents and illnesses occurring in the first instance, in order to better protect their members.
 
Finally, there is the myth that lawyers string clients along in order to gain more costs for themselves. This is definitely not the case. All lawyers in personal injury claims are working in the victim’s best interests to ensure they receive the level of compensation they deserve. Most personal injury claims now go through a new claims procedure, which means that the amount of costs a lawyer can claim are capped at a certain amount.
 
Accident compensation in Britain is certainly not out of hand as the media and insurers would have us all believe. The compensation culture myth means that many accident victims are put off making a legitimate claim.
 
If you have been injured in an accident that wasn’t your fault, you should be able to make a claim for compensation and achieve justice.
 
Freeclaim Solicitors are independent personal injury solicitors with over 25 years’ experience helping clients to claim the compensation they deserve. We believe that it is important that victims of accident are compensated for their injuries and losses, and fight for this right for our clients. To find out more visit our website http://www.freeclaim.co.uk
 


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