For reasons best known to themselves (vested interests? fingers in pies?), there remain a number of powerful voices within the UK who continue to bang the compensation culture drum and always look to undermine the legitimacy of personal injury compensation claimants. Those of us in the know are well aware that the compensation culture issue is a myth, yet those vested interests continue to spread untruths about no win no fee claims for personal injury compensation. At Direct2Compensation we take the opposing stance and it’s our job and our goal to help the claimant and fight for their right to compensation. After all, no win no fee compensation is what we’re about!
The goal of these powerful voices, it would seem, is to divide and rule… To split the people, with those who have claimed or are considering making a claim for personal injury compensation against those who haven’t. It’s as if these voices want those who haven’t claimed to feel jealous about those who have and to see their claim as about nothing other than money (which it rarely is), and to lead to a mindset that claiming compensation is unethical and a form of cheating. Anyone who has suffered a painful injury and is left needing to claim compensation will know that their claim was not made on the back of an unethical motive. Innocuous accidents can lead to serious injuries with life changing consequences. Of course, the loud voices that like to paint a picture of claimants as cheats and opportunists don’t tell their story.
In August, that great bastion of the working people, the defender of the rights of… er… the rich and powerful, The Daily Mail, carried a story about claims for personal injury compensation being made by officers of the West Midlands Police force after a string of workplace accidents. The way the Mail have written their story pours scorn on the officers who have claimed compensation. They belittle their accidents and injuries and not only take the view, but seek to spread the view, that these claims were baseless and needless. This despite the fact that the employer of the officers and their insurers admitted liability in these cases and the officers won their claims! It goes without saying that to win a claim, one must show that a 3rd party were negligent and responsible for the accident in which they were injured. Why would anyone admit liability if this was not the case? The Daily Mail used a very misleading summary of the claims on their website:
A fall off a faulty chair, taking a tumble on a wet floor, struggling to get in and out of a car and being bitten by a dog. It might sound more like the plot for a comedy film – but in fact, these bizarre occurrences are some of the compensation claims made by a single police force to its officers in the last year. West Midlands Police had to fork out nearly £600,000 on personal injury claims brought by 26 officers.
Terms like ‘had to fork out’ and phrases like ‘plot for a comedy film’ lead people to form a view that the victim of the accident was at best, at fault for the accident and at worst pulling a fast one, looking for a quick buck. The article’s final paragraph states ‘Other payouts were for an officer suffering from an asbestos-related disease and one who developed stress from being exposed to HIV. In total, £328,100 was paid in compensation to officers, while a further £260,900 was handed out to lawyers dealing with the 26 cases.’
Being exposed to asbestos related disease can be fatal, and any employer that exposes an employee to asbestos without the correct training or equipment has committed a serious breach of health and safety law and will therefore undoubtedly be liable for the industrial disease problems that will follow. Further, wouldn’t anyone be stressed if they were exposed to the risk of having been infected with HIV? This life changing condition can be fatal but if not, anyone who is diagnosed with HIV will face a future of having to take a huge amount of medication for life. At Direct2Compensation we have pursued claims for people who have been exposed to the risk of HIV infection. Having had the experience of working with a number of these claimants, the stress and anxiety that they are placed under whilst they wait days, weeks and months for test results to confirm or clear them of infection is clear to see. Why the Mail chooses to belittle such situations is beyond us. Indeed, why not have a pop at the officers employer? Why would any employer leave a faulty chair in the workplace? In order to succeed with a claim after falling off a faulty chair, someone would have to show that the employer had been made aware that it was faulty but had failed to replace or remove it. Clearly West Midlands police failed in this instance and therefore they are responsible for this incident. It wasn’t the officers fault was it?
The claimant is not liable
People who are injured in an accident at work have a legal right to seek compensation. If people are angry about claims for personal injury compensation, they should address their anger to the right people and businesses. People cannot succeed with claims for compensation after an accident at work unless they can prove that they have been the victim of employer negligence. If employers upheld their responsibilities, provided the correct training to staff and didn’t leave dangerous items of furniture in place – such as a faulty chair, then their staff members would not need to pursue claims for compensation. Being jealous of someone for getting a compensation settlement completely misses the point that they would have had to suffer a nasty injury, been in pain, left distressed and unable to live life in a normal manner for a lengthy period of time.
If you or someone you know has been injured in an accident that was not their fault and could have been avoided, they may well be entitled to compensation. Remember, as long as the claimant is acting in a genuine manner and has received medical treatment for their injuries they can attempt to pursue a claim for compensation. Whilst we cannot guarantee that their claim will succeed, we can guarantee that it will cost nothing should the claim fail. For further advice and help simply contact us so that we can explain our claims process to you and provide you with the confidence you need to enable you to pursue your claim.