New research reveals a third (33%) of people in the East Midlands are 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. Seven out of 10 (71%) admit they judge people who put in a claim following an injury and well over half (59%) feel resentful towards them because they feel it’s driving up their insurance premiums.
The study, from the UK’s leading network of solicitors, QualitySolicitors, reveals these perceptions are leading many genuine claimants to forgo pursuing a claim because they didn’t want to make a fuss (33%). A third (33%) say their feelings around compensation culture led them to not make a claim.
However, 44% say there were real consequences to not claiming. Financially, it left those who didn’t make a claim an average of £583.50 out of pocket, with one in five having to find between £1,000 - £2,000 to cover their costs. A fifth of people in the region (22%) had to deal with unexpected medical expenses, with the East Midlands the UK region most likely to be left out of pocket due to unclaimed medical bills. A fifth (22%) had to make cut-backs on day-to-day expenses such as reducing their shopping bill.
Britain’s so-called ‘compensation culture’ means many people have negative perceptions around how claimants spend the money they win:
38% think the money will go on a nice holiday
34% believe claimants will hot foot it to the shops for a spending spree
21% think people will head straight to their local car dealer to pick up new wheels
21% think it’ll go on nice things for their family
Just 26% believe the money will be spent on getting injured people back into the place they were before the accident, whilst only a quarter (26%) think it’ll support them whilst they’re unable to work with only one in five (21%) saying it’ll go towards treatment for their injury.
Richard French at QualitySolicitors Burton & Co comments: "This research shows that perhaps it’s time for us 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 get their lives back on track because they are worried others will think badly of them. At QualitySolicitors, 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 help reassure genuine claimants of their options and explain the process of making a claim, QualitySolicitors has produced downloadable top tips, available at www.QualitySolicitors.com.