Personal injury claims

By Ellyn Peratikou

We’re all familiar with the term ‘compensation culture’ – the often strongly-held belief that people regularly make frivolous claims for accidents and push up the cost of everyone else’s insurance.

In fact, new research from QualitySolicitors indicates 73% of people are judgmental of personal injury claimants and a further 60% feel ‘resentful’ that these claims mean their insurance premiums could go up.

However, various government reviews have found absolutely no evidence of a compensation culture in Britain today.

Unfortunately, these misconceptions mean a third (32%) of Brits have put off making a personal injury claim because they don’t want to contribute to ‘compensation culture’. Sadly, it seems these misconceptions are stopping genuine victims making claims, leaving them out of pocket by an eye-watering average of £1,178!

Rachel Polley, Personal Injury Expert from QualitySolicitors says “In my job as a personal injury solicitor I want to help ordinary people with legitimate claims get back to the financial position they were in before their accident. They have suffered injury and losses through no fault of their own and should be compensated for this.’

‘Recently I had a father and son attend my office. They’d been involved in a road traffic accident where a vehicle went into the rear of them. They both suffered from whiplash but worried about wasting my time, claiming for a personal injury and being seen as “claimants”. It was only after I assured them that they had a legitimate claim and that the other party’s insurance company would deal with the claims that they decided to proceed further.’

If you’ve been in an accident and are worried about what to do, here’s some tips to help get you back on your feet as quickly as possible:

1.   Make your claim straight away. People often wait until they can no longer work before they begin the claims process, leading to financial problems down the line when the costs can really start piling up. Putting in a claim early means the details will be fresh in your mind and you are more likely to have all the relevant documentation to hand.

2.   Seek medical advice immediately. Whether your injury is physical, such as whiplash, or psychological, such as stress, it is important to be seen by a medical professional straight away. This is to aid your recovery and rehabilitation but also to record your injury independently, which may be useful for your claim.

3.   Ask about an interim payment. The process of settling a claim can sometimes take a while but don’t panic, because you can still apply for what is called an ‘interim payment’. This essentially means you will be given a lump sum early on in the proceedings, to help you with any immediate costs, for example, covering your mortgage if you are unable to work.

4.   Record your expenses. Whether it’s a medical bill, home improvements to help you manage your injury or even costs to cover things like transport, keep a log with all receipts. These will all help with making your claim.

5.   Don’t just accept the first offer you get from the insurer. Many people are offered a pre-medical assessment by the insurers dealing with the claim. A lump sum can be very appealing to accept straight away, however be very wary of doing so until your solicitor has reviewed your case in detail.

About the author.

QualitySolicitors is a network of 200 branches across the UK. Our solicitors are local, approachable and professional – all of them meeting rigorous quality standards to be part of our network. Everything we do is designed to make life easier and less stressful for you when dealing with your legal matter. You can count on us to be professional, easy to get hold of and to keep you fully informed of what we’re doing and the progress of your case. We’re also open on Saturdays. So whatever else is going on in your life, dealing with QualitySolicitors won’t be a hassle.

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