personal injury claim solicitors and compensation claims
The small print...
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It's very important that you get qualified advice that is personal, and understands your particular situation. As soon as you are sure you have a case, then employ a legal representative. It's unwise to try to do it yourself.
Injury solicitors have become a world changing phenomenon. Not so many years ago such groups were unheard of, and there was little point in them. People kept to themselves, and struggled on.
Of course, personal injury solicitors do have their place. If you are in a situation where you are significantly out of pocket having suffered an accident that is not your fault, then it is right that you should be recompensed by that. And usually the person or organisation who you take to court you would hope would be covered by insurance so in effect it is the insurance company who would pay out.
The difficulty is that there are certain ethics that are important to keep in mind before you begin the process; there are relationships that could be damaged. But of course, there are still times when it is both appropriate and necessary to involve the solicitor.
The rest of this article picks up on these areas.
The Ethics of Engaging Personal Injury Solicitors
It’s sad to say that along with the growth of the solicitors who claim to be able to get you a no win no fee win, along have come the people who want to cheat the system so as to line their pockets.
At the very bottom of the pool come those who either fake their injuries, or worst yet those who deliberately cause injuries so that they might make a claim. For example those who cause a road traffic accident such as a shunt.
In these cases, a car driver will deliberately drive quickly then slowly in front of another car, then slam their brakes on so that the driver behind will drive into the back of them. They then claim whiplash compensation – which often is a lie – from the rear-most car. Since the car behind has also had damage, and the driver possibly hurt, and moreover may receive points for dangerous driving, this is totally unreasonable.
Next on the list of ethical no-no’s in my opinion are the claims companies who cold-call. I have had it where I have been asked if I or one of my children has had an injury sustained whilst at school, up to 15 years ago! In some schools there was a point when they were dealing with these claims companies on a weekly basis and none of it stuck. From slight bumps to claims of long lasting injury. Thankfully records were kept of all injuries and their type.
But unfortunately this is now spreading to other organisations and clubs, and where at one time people were able to just show up, enjoy, and if there was a bump it was just a case of telling mum, it’s now become the case where individual files and records are kept on children for years…just in case.
This creates paper work for volunteers and staff alike, and takes the joy out of providing space for children to grow and develop.
It’s also ended up creating a culture where there is a sense of children being wrapped up in cotton wool. Surely, the argument goes, if there are all these potentials for children to be hurt, and we are hearing about it on a regular basis, it must be true and so we must protect our children. To this extent, trees are cut down by councils in case a child falls from one and sues the council. Such ‘cotton wool’ attitudes result in over protection; in turn children are unable to learn their limits safely; and when they are old enough to take risks – teenagers (who psychologically are wired to think they are both immortal and invincible!) they push it too far. Is there any wonder death through dangerous driving and drugs is on the increase?
I have seen a change though in public climbing frame places. There are signs being erected informing users that it is their responsibility, and that it is a dangerous place, but that welfare agents believe – rightly in my opinion – that learning risk is an important part of growing up. Long may this attitude last!
But it’s a shame it’s reached this point. I remember climbing trees, and most of my friends got broken arms and the like…and no one sued anyone! It was our own fault, and we learned what our limits were before we did anything really serious when we were older.
There is a further implication. All claims which result in a payout by an insurance company impact a little on the premiums paid by the insurance company’s customers. It wouldn’t be much if it was just one or two, but most have share holders to keep happy. That means increasing the premiums for the rest of us.
There’s one more issue that I want to raise, and that is those people who engage in trespassing somewhere they shouldn’t and injure themselves in the process. A number of youths every year get hurt climbing on roofs which are too thin to carry the weight of a person. And what do they do? Sue the owner! In which case owners where this is possible have to use barbed wire, security cameras, anti-climb paint, and lots of signs. It’s ridiculous, all to stop people from hurting themselves doing something they shouldn’t have been doing in the first place.
There’s a saying that’s in the Bible: “do not bring hastily to court, for what will you do in the end if your neighbour puts you to shame?” (Proverbs 25 vs 8). Perhaps that’s good advice since if you take your friends or neighbours, or even relatives, to court then things may well never be the same again!
The problem comes when it’s necessary to engage accident injury solicitors because you really do need that money. It’s not a scam, it’s the real thing. Hopefully the insurance company will pay up, but there’s always a chance that they won’t. One of the significant issues is the cost of legal action can often be four times the amount of the award! What if the insurance wouldn’t pay it? Moreover, what happens if you lose, and the insurance that you took out against you losing doesn’t pay out? Or if you are found to blame for all or part of the action, and that does happen quite often.
The biggest problem is that a court experience is harrowing. It isn’t a comfortable place, even if you are quite innocent. It is serious, legal, and beyond the experience of most people. Who wants to be dragged through that?
If you take someone to court then be aware that your relationship might never be the same again.
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...and to lighten the mood...
Why you SHOULD Engage Injury Claim Solicitors
Of course there are times when you must get legal aid.
If you have been injured at work then the employer needs to realise that they may not have been operating a safe environment. If they have completed the necessary training, and risk assessments, provided insurance if necessary, then they have done right by you the employee. If however they have been negligent then they need to recompense you for any injury sustained if it has left you out of pocket.
One of the senses that you get though with some claims is that they want you to claim if you have been a bit upset about it. Think of it like a slap on the wrist from a school teacher and told not to do it again. What’s the point? None. Unless there has been real financial loss as a result of the injury please may I encourage you to settle out of court, otherwise you might find that your working environment becomes unpleasant. Not every time of course, but it is something to be aware of.
But there are times…a real life story of a claim
A friend of mine was pulling out of a side road just recently. This side road is the first one on the main road into town. Once you get within 50 yards of the road from the outskirts the speed limit changes from 40 to 30 miles an hour, simply because approaching that road at 40 or more means there isn’t enough time for the driver coming out of the side road to see your approach.
Sure enough, that is exactly what happened to my friend. I was just a minute behind the accident. The mess the car was in the approaching car had been doing 40 or more when they reached the side road. The police were called, and did nothing. No one had been seriously hurt. Not the police’ fault that, but it did mean that a full investigation wasn’t forth coming. My friends car was written off, he sustained further injuries to his already poorly back. He hurt his leg. The other car drivers were fine, with no injuries.
My friend was quickly approached by personal injury claim solicitors and were offered their services. Of course they took it! My friend has been unable to work since. His car is a write off so there is no other form of transport. In these cases he has had to claim.
There is another good reason why people should claim, and that is to improve a situation or working environment for others. Again, money should not be the motivation here, in which case it seems wrong that simply to prove a point and then be awarded a sum of money. Basically, sometimes when there is a case to answer it will result in at least a change in working provision for employees. In a more public place it is possible that some issue of safety is addressed. At even higher levels law and legislation could be changed simply because something has been brought to light which has tested law in the courts
So the basics are these
1. Don’t sue someone just for the sake of it. Is it better to settle out of court?
2. Are you prepared for the discomfort yourself? What about to the other person? Will there be a long lasting damage to your relationship?
3. Can you afford to lose?
4. Are you looking to make a fast buck, or is there a genuine reason you are seeking compensation?
5. Will there be a good solution to the situation, such as improvements in working environments, or a change in the law?
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