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What stops people making a claim after an injury at work?


There’s something of a paradox in the world of workplace injury. A clear majority of people, when surveyed, will profess to believe that accident victims should be able to claim compensation if the accident wasn’t their fault. But only a fraction of those people will actually make a claim themselves when the time comes.

According to research conducted by YouGov on behalf of the National Accident Helpline, 85% of us are in the ‘accident victims should be entitled to compensation’ camp, but just a third would actually make a claim. This discrepancy can be attributed to a number of different factors, many of them stemming from misunderstandings of the claims process.

Fear of court

Many would-be claimants believe that they will have to physically attend the courtroom in order to make a claim. But this is only the case in a minority of circumstances. Around 95% of personal injury claims are settled before the courts get involved, and the guidance of an expert solicitor is on hand to guide the claimant through those that do require they attend in person.

Fear of financial hardship

The cost of a claim can give many people reason to hesitate. After all, the legal process is one that demands the input of highly skilled professionals, all of whom need to be paid. But the fact is that claims of this sort are invariably pursued on a no-win no-fee basis. The solicitor is charged with identifying whether the claim will be successful, and thus they assume all of the risk. This allows the client to pursue action without fear of financial hardship.

A related fear is that of losing one’s job as a result of making a claim. It is highly illegal for an employer to fire you because you’ve filed for compensation; those that do this expose themselves to hefty fines and legal action.

Fear of complexity

It’s true that the law can be very complex. But it’s for that reason that lawyers exist to advise us of the situation and draw our attention to any significant decisions and what their consequences might be. Get a suitable lawyer, and you won’t need to wade through jargon, as it’ll all be explained to you.

Fear of social hardship

There’s a widespread misconception that most people who make claims are just out for the money. This is often summarised in the term ‘claims culture’. But the truth of the matter is that compensation exists for a reason, and most of us, having suffered an accident, deserve to receive it. Social considerations should never be a barrier to seeking compensation, especially given that such an overwhelming proportion of people believe that accident victims deserve compensation.

About Janine Lucas'

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