In 2014, YouGov - an international internet-based market research firm - conducted a report focusing on why some people who had been injured in an accident did not make a personal injury compensation claim.
According to the report, the number of people who could have made a personal injury compensation claim fell from 29% in July 2013 to 25% in April 2014.
The YouGov report illustrated a number of reasons behind people’s decisions not to seek compensation.
Dramatically, there was a 10% decrease from 2013 to 2014 involving people who believed their case was not strong enough to win a claim. 35% of people who had an accident or illness decided not to claim as they did not believe their ailment was bad enough to warrant compensation. A further 22% did not believe in claiming compensation and 5% were concerned about the costs involved.
I would like to address the top 5 reasons people chose not to claim compensation even though they could have made a claim following an accident at work:
1. I did not think the accident or illness/disease was bad enough to warrant a claim
Your solicitor will be able to advise you as to whether your injury warrants a claim. They can also provide you with a rough guideline of the compensation you could expect to receive. You can also advise your solicitor that you wish to wait a while before you decide whether to proceed with your claim. It is important however to ensure your accident is recorded in a RIDDOR report as this is a legal requirement of your employer.
2. I don’t believe in claiming compensation.
There is often a perceived stigma attached to making a personal injury compensation claim, and some people may feel concerned as to how this might be viewed by their friends and colleagues. In some cases, the media can also cast a negative light on people who wish to claim for compensation.
There is no disgrace in claiming what you are entitled to. A claim can only proceed if the defendant has been negligent and the accident is their fault. If you have lost earnings, or you cannot pay your mortgage or your bills due to your injury or illness, then there are very few people who would not claim in your position.
Your employers will have employers’ liability insurance, which is a legal requirement put in place to protect the employee should a claim for compensation for an accident at work be made. It is the insurer who will pay your compensation.
3. I did not think the case was strong enough to win the claim
Your solicitor will advise you of whether your claim has a good chance of success. Your claim will be funded on a no-win, no fee basis, and, accordingly, solicitors only get paid their fee if they win. Therefore, if they do not consider your claim is winnable then they are unlikely to proceed.
4. I felt that making a claim would be too time consuming and too lengthy a process
An accident at work can be a complicated and time-consuming process. However, the complications lie mainly in the legal arguments which are for your solicitor to determine based on the evidence available. All that would be required from you would be the facts of the case and the details of any losses you may have incurred. Your solicitor will guide you through the process at each stage.
5. I was concerned about the costs I would incur in making the claim
Our solicitors work on a no-win, no fee basis. Therefore, if the case is lost you would not have to pay anything.
There is no obligation to proceed. We are aware that making a claim for an accident at work can take some deliberation. You are always in charge and a solicitor must take his or her instructions from you.
Slater and Gordon Lawyers offer a free consultation for people injured in accidents at work. Call our Personal Injury Lawyers day or night on freephone 0800 916 9046 or contact us online and we will call you.