Public misconception of a "Compensation Culture" that doesn’t exist is leaving genuine claimants in our region an average of £1,064 out of pocket
New research from the UK’s leading network of solicitors, QualitySolicitors, reveals that current public perception is leading many genuine claimants (47%) to forgo pursuing a claim because they don’t want to make a fuss. Nearly half of those in Yorkshire and the Humber (43%) put off claiming for an injury that wasn’t their fault because they don’t want to contribute to the ‘compensation culture’ in the UK today.
Despite 66% of those living in Yorkshire and the Humber resenting personal injury claimants who ‘push up cost of insurance’, over half (57%) say there were real consequences to not claiming.
Financially, it left those who didn’t make a claim an average of £1,064.04 out of pocket, with over one in 10 (15%) having to find £2,000 or more to cover their costs. A third (32%) suffered a loss of earnings and 15% were offered financial support from their friends and family. Over one in 10 (13%) had to make cut-backs on day-to-day expenses such as reducing their shopping bill and 9% missed out on job opportunities such as a promotion of pay rise.
Britain’s so-called ‘compensation culture’ means many people in the region have negative perceptions around how claimants spend the money they win. The vast majority (80%) admit they judge people who put in a claim following an injury and two-thirds (66%) feel resentful towards them because they feel it’s driving up their insurance premiums.
• 55% believe claimants will hot foot it to the shops for a spending spree
• 52% think the money will go on a nice holiday
• 30% think people will head straight to their local car dealer to pick up new wheels
• 19% think it’ll go on nice things for their family
Just 14% believe the money will be spent on getting injured people back into the place they were before the accident, only a quarter (25%) think it’ll support them whilst they’re unable to work and less than one in five (16%) say it’ll go towards treatment for their injury.
Ian Horner, Partner and Head of the specialist Personal Injury Department at QualitySolicitors Bradbury Roberts & Raby, comments: "This research shows that perhaps it’s time for us Brits to reassess our views of people who claim for personal injuries. It’s a real shame that honest, hard-working people are missing out on the financial compensation they need to help them get their lives back on track because they are worried others will think badly of them.
At QualitySolicitors Brabury Roberts & Raby we’re committed to offering people practical advice to help them, following an accident that wasn’t their fault. This could mean compensating them for loss of earnings, or getting them the funds they need to make adjustments to their home to help them recover from an injury. I’d urge anyone who thinks they might have a claim to look at the options available to them. Otherwise they could find themselves seriously out of pocket."
Young vs. old
Nationally, the results show a big discrepancy between the generations: young people (18-24yrs) are far less likely to be resentful towards people who make a claim (39%) compared with over half (68%) of older people (55yrs plus). This perception also leads over half (50%) of older people to forgo making a claim compared with 42% of younger people. Older people are more likely to believe Britain has a ‘compensation culture’ with 54% of those over 55yrs believing this compared with just 36% of those aged 18 – 24yrs.
Nationally, men (54%) are more likely than women (40%) to not make a Personal Injury claim for an injury that wasn’t their fault, with the top reason they gave being they ‘didn’t want to make a fuss’ (42%). However, women are generally more sympathetic to people who make claims with 21% saying they assumed people use the money to get back into the place they were in before their accident, compared with just 16% of men.
To hear what QualitySolicitors Director of Legal Services, John Baden-Daintree, has to say on the matter, listen to his podcast at our Personal Injury page now. You can also download our Top Tips to help reassure you of your options and explain the process, if you have a genuine claim.