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Blog: Untangling fact from fiction

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Untangling fact from fiction
Deborah Evans | 04 Dec 2017

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:

1.      All people claiming compensation are fraudsters getting money for nothing

2.      We have a burgeoning compensation culture that is unaffordable

3.      Injured people get huge pay outs - far more money than they need

4.      A compensation claim is like a lottery win

5.      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 damage.

Read the booklet and give it some thought. We need balance. 

Past blog entries

The picture is getting clearer, 01 Aug 2017
Future reform to the bringing of clinical negligence claims?, 26 Jun 2017
There is a cost to caring, but it is a cost worth paying, 28 Feb 2017
Decisions to come in 2017, 06 Jan 2017
Claims Management Companies – the Dragon that Needs Slaying, 19 Dec 2016
Personal injury reform: Back to the dark ages , 23 Nov 2016
If the NHS was an airline, we'd never dare to fly, 03 Oct 2016
Car insurance premiums - a matter of trust?, 31 Aug 2016

About this blog

Deborah Evans

I'm Deborah Evans, APIL's Chief Executive Officer. I shall be using this blog to keep you informed about campaigning and political work carried out by APIL.