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The Compensation Culture, fact or fiction?

According to a recent poll only a quarter of people with a viable compensation claim (this was not defined and there is no way of telling if “viable” is one which a solicitor would run under a CFA or a broker think “brokable”) actually go on to make a claim. Quite how this balances out with the same media forever telling us that the compensation culture is overwhelming the country I am again not sure. I am sure that a proportion of our car insurance premiums do go towards paying off whiplash claims.

So what is actually going on? As usual, I think the answer is somewhere in the middle. We all know that bad news is good news for newspapers and the rest of media, so we hear all about fraud, people over egging their injuries and lavish awards paid out for what seems trivial reasons.

It needs to be said that, in our experience, the vast majority of cases are honest, settle at reasonable levels and help the claimant. It’s not ‘free money’ and not seen as such by claimants who need help to recover after accidents, adjust to new circumstances, to put themselves back to the position before ‘it’ happened. Often the only way to do this is via the courts, this costs money!

All the hoo-hah about huge fees and premiums paid to lawyers and insurers ignores the actuality that, these are paid to firms who: employ people, pay tax and national insurance, pay rent and rates, pay claims (insurers) and many other ‘incidentals’ that keep people in employment, who in their turn contribute to the economy and UK plc.

This is about more than the purity of the law, it is also a business and justice does need to be seen to be done.

Therefore do not despair, we should keep going, we all make a difference and in some cases if we did not do as we do, there would be a distressing number of injustices for the media to highlight and complain about.

This is a real ‘downer’ of a blog but remember we do a useful job, we help people who are in trouble, this cannot be said of some of the detractors but they have to make a living as well.