Should I make a claim for compensation? Is it right to claim compensation? I don’t want to be part of the “Compensation Culture” so what do I do? What is the “Compensation Culture”?
If you have had an accident that was not your fault and, as a result, you have suffered injuries and losses, you have a legal right to make a claim for compensation. Every car driver, every employer, every owner of premises must have insurance. The reason for this is to compensate the innocent victims of accidents. Therefore, if you make a claim for compensation, you are not doing anything wrong or claiming for things you shouldn’t claim for and you are not getting anyone in trouble.
However, you do not, of course, have to make a claim for compensation and you can simply decide not to, but this will mean you will have to fund any medical treatment you need or have it with the NHS. This is not ideal as this will leave you out of pocket and there may be a wait for NHS treatment.
We can appreciate people’s reluctance to make a claim because in the last few years there have been a lot of stories in the media about the so-called “Compensation Culture” and, understandably, people don’t want to be part of it. However, if damage was caused to your house or your bags were lost on holiday or an item you had bought was faulty or broken, you wouldn’t hesitate to make a claim to put things right. So, why do accident claims have such a bad name?
It is mainly to do with a media campaign over the last few years, prompted and fuelled by insurance companies, that has painted a compensation claim in a bad light and implied that it is wrong to make such a claim. This media campaign has produced a situation where people believe there is a “Compensation Culture”, especially in relation to car accidents, and that this is a problem that needs to be tackled. The issue of fraudulent claims has also been highlighted which has increased the calls to reforms to how claims are dealt with.
However, the Government has provided figures that show the number of accident claims has fallen over the last few years and insurance companies’ figures show that fraudulent road accident claims amount to 0.2% of the total number of claims. Therefore, it seems the “Compensation Culture” is a myth and there is no evidence to confirm that it is a problem that needs to be tackled.
In the circumstances, there is no reason not to make a claim if you are the innocent victim of an accident. You are not contributing to a problem and you are not doing anything wrong. By making a claim, you may also be helping to make things better for other people.
If you have a road accident and make a claim, the other driver is penalized because his/her insurance premium will be increased. This may make that driver drive more carefully in the future to avoid further accidents. If you don’t make the claim, the guilty driver may carry on driving in the same way and cause more accidents.
If you have an accident at work and make a claim, your employer must take steps to make sure that a similar accident can’t happen again. The workplace will then be a safer place and other people won’t have to suffer an injury in a similar accident. If you don’t make the claim, the employer may not be aware of the cause of your accident and may not take steps to make the workplace a safer place. One of your colleagues could then suffer a similar accident.
If you have an accident in a public place, for example a supermarket, the owner must make the premises safer and take steps to ensure a similar accident doesn’t happen again. If you don’t make the claim, the premises will remain unsafe and someone else may suffer a similar accident.
You do not, of course, have to make a claim, but a chat with a Solicitor may put your mind at rest about making a claim. If you are still having doubts about making a claim, call us on 061 749 9000 (or click here to request a call back [need a call us button]) for a free, without obligation chat.
If you would like to find out more about the reforms the Government is introducing in April 2020 about compensation claims and how this will affect you, read our article.