We’re often laughed at for having the weakest necks on the planet. Many would argue that our weakness is merely the ease of gaining compensation in a place where accident claims are sought after by society. The whiplash claims culture accounts for a massive 80% of personal injury claims that insurance giant Aviva handles last year alone. The UK’s staggering level of whiplash claims is even more alarming when compared to our European neighbors France, where only 3% of claims are associated with neck injuries from a car accident.
Car insurance premiums have remained fairly stable over the last few years but the number of whiplash claims no doubt has a significant impact on current premiums. It’s estimated that our ‘weak necks’ account for around £93 of our car insurance premium.
In a bid to curb Britain’s compensation claims culture, politicians have played with the idea of stopping whiplash claims altogether, plans which have been stalled since the Brexit decision.
So how have car accidents fallen by 40% in the last 15 years yet whiplash claims have increased by 90% in the same period?
Are we now facing a different dilemma? While the number of accident claims is reducing, the number of fraudulent claims is increasing significantly. ‘Crash for cash’ scams have in-fluxed the system and have proved extremely difficult to flush out. It’s hard enough to determine whether the injury is real, never mind the accident in itself. Whilst insurance companies express their eagerness for legislation to end whiplash claims, their accounts suggest otherwise. I’ts well known that insurance companies sell accident claims to personal injury solicitors for £500 upwards a case, more than what third party insurance claims are costing them.
Changing legislation may never happen as genuine claimants are likely to lose out in the event of trying to make a personal injury claim for whiplash. Interestingly many claimants only pursued their whiplash claims because of persistent pressure and cold calling from accident claims management companies. Isn’t an obvious solution here to properly enforce cold calling bans?
The debate will continue to go on, the compensation claims will continue to flood in. What do you think our solution is to curbing Britain’s compensation culture without disadvantaging genuine claimant? Let us know your thoughts on Google+.
A Bolton based scrapyard has been fined £30,000 after one of its workers, Mr Sparrow, suffered a facial injury that will scar him for life. Accident Claims can reveal that the former Metro Salvage was fined and sentenced after breaches were found in health and safety practices.
Manchester Crown Court gave its verdict after hearing how the injured employee was wounded while attempting to remove a cars catalytic converter resulting in 40 stitches.
Mr Sparrow argues that their employer had instructed him to carry out practices that were deemed hazardous. The scrapyard denied any wrong doing and claim that Mr Sparrow had gone against health and safety policies that he had signed to adhere to. The scrapyard was convicted and charged On the basis that the company had failed to document its health and safety in accordance with legislation requirements.
Judge Potter branded the defendant ‘disorganised’ when detailing the lack of risk assessment or training material that was available to employees.
Previous accident claims have been made against the scrapyard, one claimant awarded £12,500 in personal injury compensation after being crushed by a car that was hoisted nearby.
Speaking not long after the verdict, personal injury solicitor Kirtana Razid spoke to us.
“The case today is just another example of how accident claims against employers can be avoided. When it comes to health and safety you can never have too much documentation. What we are finding is that the majority of employers have little to no documentation at all. The bottom line is that the injuries today could have been avoided if the employer had adhered to legislation.
Only earlier Accident Claims reported on the link between NHS compensation claims and the lack of funding in maternity wards. Hours later we’re reading about another five figure settlement following a tragedy at the hands of the NHS trust.
Paul and Melanie Diji’s son Daniel died in December 2007, 18 days after he was born premature at 27 weeks.
The oxygen pressure given to Daniel was too loo low and led to brain damage and ultimately his death. Daniel’s parents were told he died of brain damage after being ‘severely premature’. Mr and Mrs Diji started a legal bid for compensation against Southend University Hospital after they became suspicious of what was told to them.
Southend Hospital acknowledges that the standard of care given to Daniel should have been higher and says vital lessons have been learnt in the process. It’s a shame it takes the loss of a life to spark a review of processes internally.
We’ve given a lot of stick to the NHS trust over the past few weeks with valid justification. However, medical negligence claims take a considerable amount of time to settle and the issues we are reporting happened some time ago. Processes and equipment have improved dramatically over the last five years and Southend’s involvement in a new innovative healthcare scheme is testament to the improvements that have been made. Healthcare improvements over the last five years have been overshadowed by the rising number of accident claim companies being regulated.
As budgets have reduced in maternity units and no win no fee lawyers have been bombarding consumers, we can have the best technology in the world but need enough operatives to use it. Whilst we have a shortage of staff and preying no win-no fee solicitors waiting in the corridors, what hope do we have of improving health care long term?
Solicitors, claims companies and those within the NHS need to use these cases not to fuel the claims industry, but to fuel positive change within healthcare.
As well as the inconvenience of being injured, an accident at work can also result in a substantial loss of income. Some sustained injuries mean that you can’t go back to the job you used to do and you should be compensated accordingly if that’s the case. Accident Claims look at some individual cases with some remarkable results.
Take the real life case study of Susan Cox, a cook who worked at Swansea Prison. Susan has recently been awarded £100,000 after an inmate dropped a bag of rice on her back. Susan was no longer able to work after she suffered from spinal injuries following the accident. The inmate ignored orders to stop working when the incident occurred. As prison bosses were paying the inmate for the work he was undertaking, Mrs Cox accused her employer of failing to protect her in the workplace.
It’s an interesting case that has aggrieved the Ministry of Justice after Mrs Cox launched a battle for a six figure damages sum against them. The Ministry claim that the accident was due to the negligence of one inmate and they shouldn’t be held responsible for what has happened.
The inmate lost his balance as he attempted to carry two heavy sacks of rice past Mrs Cox before hitting his head against a wall and dropping one on her back. A judge ruled that as the inmate was being paid by the Ministry, the case should be treated the same as any other employer liability dispute. As the inmate had not received the appropriate manual handling training it was deemed that the liability ultimately fell on the Ministry.
Some critics argue that the pay-out – which comes from the taxpayer, is too hefty for the circumstances.
Accident Claims boss Mr Donn disagreed with critics remarks; “The compensation awarded to Mrs Cox sounds substantial but it reflects the fact the she is now unable to undertake the same duties she did before suffering the injury. In comparison to whiplash claims where a claimant can sometimes receive up to £5k for a much shorter term injury, I don’t believe the tax payer has been extorted. The compensation awarded will mean that Mrs Cox can recover properly from her injury whilst also taking into account that any future work might result in a far lower salary because of any long term impairment”.
So if you’ve had an accident at work and looking to make a claim then speak to the team at Accident Claims. We serve the nation offering accident claims help and advice 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Do you have a personal injury claim that Accident Claims can help with?
First things first you need to establish whether you actually have a claim to make. Generally speaking if you have been injured in the last three years and it wasn’t your fault there’s a pretty good chance you have the right to make a claim.
Not entirely sure whether you fit the criteria? At any time you can contact us on 0800 012 4527 and we’ll tell you straight – there’s no obligation to go through us!
Get as much detail as you can before contacting any personal injury solicitor. E.g. if you have been injured as a result of a hole in the pavement then take some pictures and make a note of precisely where it was – all these details will be needed by your solicitor to help give you the best possible advice. If you were involved in a car accident and the police were involved then get a police reference number for the incident or ideally seek some medical attention and keep a record of this.
When you’ve decided you want to make a claim contact Accident Claims soon as you can to avoid any problems with time limitations. Generally speaking yon have three years so assuming you don’t hang around for too long you should be ok.
Once you have given all the information to your solicitor they will then liaise with the defendant’s insurers and make them aware that a claim is being issued against them. Your opponent may defend the claim, but in most cases where liability isn’t disputed it will merely be a negotiation task to ensure you are secured the maximum compensation for the injury. If you have any loss of income as a result then it’s important to make your solicitor aware of this as this will also become a key part of the claim.
Once you accept the settlement then it is normally full and final and will forfeit your rights to go up against that party for any further damages for the same incident at a later date. With this in mind make sure that what you are accepting is the right amount – this is why we would always recommend using a well-established and experienced accident claim solicitor.
Accident Claims have been established for over 40 years and have one of the best personal injury teams in the country. As we’ve mentioned earlier, even if you decide that you don’t want to use us we will happily just give you a second opinion. Our main priority is to ensure that the advice and the compensation you receive is accurate.