Unfortunately we now live in a claim culture, we claim for this, we claim for that, we sue this person, we sue that company and on it goes, we are still behind the United State where everybody it suing everybody else and the courts are full liable and litigation cases, nevertheless the UK is quickly catching up and you can’t watch a couple of hours of television without seeing and advert for a no win no fee solicitor or personal injury lawyers – which to be honest has no relevance in the UK because we don’t have lawyers, personal injury or otherwise, but the public seems to recognise the terminology so the claim companies use it as part of their marketing material.
In fact, if you employ a lawyer in the UK you are employing someone with no legal standing or qualifications; So be careful, you want and need to hire a solicitor if you are from the UK so for the rest of this article we’ll refer to personal injury solicitors and not lawyers.
More About the Claim Industry
The claim industry in the UK is big money and the high streets are full of law firms focusing on litigation and personal injury claims, in fact it’s hard work nowadays to fine a solicitor who simply deals in property law or criminal law simply because there is more money in personal injury claims.
Figures released in 2018 show that the largest amount of compensation claims arise from motor vehicle accidents or motorbike accidents; however more people than ever are making personal injury claims against local councils for poorly maintained pavements and roads, but what seems to be rising year or year are claims against employers.
Go back 20 or 30 years and if you slipped or fell at work you took a couple of days off to recover and then simply carried on, nowadays when someone slips or falls at work then get straight in touch with a personal injury solicitor to see if there is a claim; but is this morally right?
Should You Always Claim When Getting Injured at Work?
Most people are still on the fence when it comes to taking your employer to court, many people, mainly the younger end, the under 35’s will say “just do it, everyone else does it”, whilst some people, mainly the older end, the over 35’s will say, “think about the company and the other workers” you may cause permanent damage to the companies finances and the company may close putting your colleagues and so called friends out of work so you could have a couple of grand for a holiday in the Caribbean, plus this is you place of work, somewhere you go everyday, do you really want there to be an atmosphere between you and the business owners?
In my opinion it all depends of the circumstances around the accident and the outcome of the accident, was it a serious accident that caused hospitalisation, left you with a permanent disability or left you permanently, physically and emotional scared or have you simply ended up with a few cuts and bruises that will heal in a couple of days with no lasting physical or mental damage?
All companies need to have Public and/or Employee Liability Insurance so you are not actually claiming money from the company, however, just like your motor insurance, if you have lots of third party claims against you then your premium will go up when it’s next due for renewal, obviously the odd minor claim against a companies Employee Liability Insurance isn’t going to effect it that much, but if a company ends up with regular claims or a very large claim it can become uninsurable and can in fact be forced to closed down because it’s illegal to operate without insurance just like it’s illegal to drive a car without insurance
So Should You Make a Claim or Not?
I’m not saying don’t claim, I’m saying don’t claim simply for the sake of it, claim if you are actually injured and the company is in fact liable due to poorly maintained equipment, lack of training or any number of reasons.
I suppose the best thing to do would be to speak to a professional personal injury lawyer who will advise as to whether you do in fact have claim, because sometimes you don’t especially if the accident was essentially your fault and not the fault of the company.
You simply cannot deny that we now live in a claim culture and sometimes people claim just for the sake of it; however some employers have a terrible health and safety record and little safety concerns for their employees, so of course these companies should be made accountable for their actions.
A good rule of thumb is don’t simple go with the first solicitor who gets in touch, research your solicitor and choose the one with a decent track record.