Injury can strike at any time and often when we least expect it, but why should people face the consequences of something that wasn’t their fault alone?
Compensation is there to help people in exactly those sorts of situations, where accidents have caused them to miss work, lose money or cause unnecessary stress in their day to day lives.
Defining an ‘accident’
According to the most recent Health and Safety Executive (HSE) figures for the period of 2011-2012, there were 1.1 million working people suffering from a work-related illness.
In the same period 172 workers were killed at work with a further 111,000 injuries reported under RIDDOR (the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations).
These can include anything from broken bones to minor bumps and bruises and anything in-between which prevent people from working for a three day period or longer.
Accidents from something as simple as slipping on a wet floor in the supermarket to tripping on a broken kerbstone or pavement could mean the victim is entitled to make a personal injury claim.
Business and organisations have a duty of care over public spaces and must ensure that they are as safe as possible.
Claiming for anything
The ‘if there’s blame, there’s a claim’ view receives a lot of negative media attention but it is simply not true.
No win no fee agreements are taken on by solicitors on the basis that there is an element of blame that can be attached to another party.
These would not be taken on if the case was likely to be unsuccessful as it would simply not be worth the time and effort involved.
Fees are then only taken upon a claim being successful, with costs often being claimed from the losing side.
After The Event Insurance can also be put in place to avoid substantial costs should the case be lost.
Increases in the number of people reportedly claiming for compensation has given rise to what many have deemed a ‘compensation culture’.
Simply put, this is where people will claim for anything, on the basis that they have little to lose when going via a no win no fee approach.
This can often include unjustified, frivolous or fraudulent claims that are not based on any solid legal grounding.
However a recent study from the workers’ journal Hazards tells a different story.
Trade Unions Congress general secretary Frances O’Grady believes the government is trying to ‘brainwash’ people into thinking there is a widespread compensation culture in the UK.
“The facts tell a very different story,” she said. “Even those dying from work-related diseases have precious little chance of getting a payout.
“The true Government motive here is to weaken health and safety laws and make it harder for victims to pursue claims.”
Her views come in the light of statistics which show awards for work-related illness have dropped by 60% from 219,183 in 2001 to 87,655 last year.
Furthermore, those with most occupational cancers have around a one in 50 chance of making a successful claim, the study revealed.
Rory O’Neill, professor of Occupational Health at Stirling University explained that many people are being denied the compensation they deserve
“We are seeing a denial of justice because the government is putting the health of the insurance industry and the safety of the most dangerous rogues in the business community over the health, safety and survival of people at work,” he said.
Seeking the right help
Injuries can cause a lot of financial stress, especially if they inhibit driving and working, as travel and living costs can quickly soar.
Therefore, it is important to have a solicitor in place that can fight for the victim on their behalf and ensure any outlays relating to their injury and claim are covered.
A solicitor is there to enhance the process of making a claim, assisting those with injuries through the minefield of legal jargon that partners the procedure.
Considering solicitors prior to going to an insurer is a smart move as it enables the victim to get professional help and advice, and the compensation they are entitled to.
Through a thorough knowledge of the legal aspects and an understanding of the field, solicitors can help relieve stress and deal with the claim in a speedy and efficient manner.
They deal with all manner of workplace and road accidents, from the very minor to those where the victims lose their lives, so any claimant can rest assured that no stone will be left unturned.
Whether you have a scooter accident claim or a claim relating to defective surgical mesh, the whole process is designed to get the victim the compensation they deserve, as solicitors can often claim on additional points of interest in a case, resulting in a higher payout.
While rest and recuperation should be somebody’s main priority following an accident, pursuing an accident claim can be just as important in the long run.