So, you’ve heard the rumors about the so-called ‘compensation
culture’, read the mutterings in the press about hikes in insurance premiums,
and listened to media commentators musing about whether injured people really
need any compensation at all. But what do you really know about the world of personal
injury claims? Can you separate the fact from the fiction?
True or false:
All people claiming
compensation are fraudsters getting money for nothing
We have a burgeoning
compensation culture that is unaffordable
Injured people get huge pay
outs - far more money than they need
A compensation claim is like a
Injured people should just take
it on the chin and get on with their lives
All false, actually.
The majority of injured people are genuinely
injured through no fault of their own. You or I would not make a false claim,
nor would our family and friends, so why do we believe so readily the spin in
the media that half the population are fraudsters?
There really is no “compensation culture”. Government
research has proven that it is a perception not a reality. Claims numbers are
pretty static, or indeed falling in some areas. There is obviously a growing
awareness of the right to claim compensation, but surely knowledge of your
rights is a good thing. And in a modern, caring society, someone injured
because of someone else’s negligence should not be forced into hardship.
Injured people receive just the amount of
compensation they need - no more, no less. The law has evolved to ensure
exactly that. Sadly, those most seriously injured need a significant amount of
money to provide care for the rest of their lives. They may never work again.
Compensation is no lottery win. Given the choice, people want their life back.
injured people would prefer never to have been injured in the first place.
‘Taking it on the chin’ approach just is, put
simply, grossly unfair. Few of us can afford to have no income, and injured people lose out
financially when they cannot work, or need to pay out for therapies, hired help
for at home, or alternative means of transport. An ethical society cares for
those injured, those rendered vulnerable and needing care.
The trouble is that the perception of the claims
industry and the injured person is exaggerated and incorrect, and the myths are
far more exciting than the reality, so the myth gets peddled and gains a life
of its own.
To help, APIL has produced a booklet called Compensation Explained, a guide to
personal injury compensation and its value to society, which is available on
our website. It offers uncomplicated explanations of the different types of
compensation, and explains negligence in simple terms. It talks about some of
the problems in the current system that prevent people from getting the justice
they deserve. Real case studies demonstrate the impact an injury can have on an
individual, whether it be minor cosmetic injuries to far-reaching psychiatric
Read the booklet and give it some thought. We