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Has Compensation Culture Gone Too Far

Jun 13, 2008
There is an abundance of advertising at the moment, on TV and in newspapers and magazines, of how we can claim compensation for any personal injury that might happen. Some say this has gone too far and that people try to claim compensation for ridiculous things. It also seems there is no consistent pay scale for what it seems our body parts and functions are worth so while a high profile person will get mega money for a trip or slip, the rest of us would just get a few quid.

But then, that often depends on what quality of personal injury lawyer you have. There are some unscrupulous sorts that will drag out a claim and charge extortionate fees either for not doing very much or for getting a little then they proceeding to take a huge chunk in fees.

However, there are also personal injury lawyers that truly understand the damage that someone else's mistake can cause to an innocent party. They fight your corner swiftly, with the expertise needed to get to the bottom of who is responsible and will often work on a no win, no fee basis so at least you know that if you lose your claim then it won't cost you a penny so really you have nothing to lose but try.

When you are shopping around for a personal injury lawyer it certainly pays to do your homework. Find one that will provide a no win, no fee service but who also has a proven track record of dealing with your particular type of personal injury or the arena in which it happened. This often makes a difference. An aviation accident will have much more red tape and the complexity of it will be totally different to a compensation claim for clinical negligence.

There are personal injury lawyers that specialise in different areas. Some will deal with health and safety accidents at work, others will deal with brain or spinal cord injuries and some will deal with disputes. Rather than try to take action for a personal injury yourself, you need a professional who will use the correct terminology and paperwork to get results.

But do we really need it? How did people manage before our compensation culture that seems to have gone mad? Well, people did manage but they suffered. And the people that were responsible for injury to others simply got away with it and carried on making mistakes. The fear of being sued often makes people that much more careful these days.

A simple trip or slip can cause ripped tendons, pulled muscles, sprains, strains and even broken bones. This can lead not only to costly medical treatment, long NHS waiting lists for physiotherapy and certainly time off work. This, in turn, leads to a lack of funds to pay rent, mortgages and bills and to hardship for the victim and their family all because someone failed to clear up behind themselves or neglected to pick something up.

So, is it right that this should be left? That people who are sloppy about carrying out their job should be left to carry on being sloppy? That the victim should suffer such hardship because of someone else's carelessness? No.

This is why lawyers have been making good business in compensation claims for people who have experienced these difficulties. Life is expensive enough these days and people cannot afford to lose out, or lose their homes. So for those who have suffered any extent of inconvenience, loss of damage from an accident, it always pays to take legal advice to determine whether or not compensation is feasible.
About the Author
Legal expert Catherine Harvey looks at the use of personal injury lawyers to secure funds for those who have suffered accidents.
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