By Sean Gordon, Senior Solicitor, Neil Hudgell Solicitors
NEWLY published research has suggested people in the Yorkshire and Humberside region are the most reluctant in the UK to claim compensation for genuine personal injuries – due to a fear of contributing to the so-called ‘compensation culture’.
The report, carried out on behalf of the solicitors’ network, QualitySolicitors, suggests many people are being left out of pocket – on average £1,064 – as a result of not claiming compensation to cover extra costs such as medical bills and time not working.
Sean Gordon, senior solicitor at Neil Hudgell Solicitors, says the findings highlight a growing misrepresentation of the personal injury legal profession, leading to many wrongly feeling pressurised into not pursing a claim.
However, he added that 50 per cent of cases now handled by the firm, which operates across the UK, originate in the Yorkshire and Humberside region, a statistic which conflicts with the findings of the report.
“It is understandable for people not to want to be seen as being part of the so-called ‘claims culture’, but whilst it is admirable to say they ‘don’t want to make a fuss’, this report highlights that those who didn’t make a claim against a genuine injury found themselves on average £1,064 out of pocket, through covering extra costs like medical bills and loss of earnings from time not working,” Mr Gordon said.
“That is certainly not fair, and fairness for clients is what we seek in every case we take on.
“Often, such a financial loss is something people cannot cope with. We ensure all areas such as this are covered for our clients, and that is a big reason why 9 out of 10 are happy to recommend us to friends and family.”
The report said 43 per cent of people in the region had put off making a personal injury claim so as not be contribute to ‘compensation culture’ – the highest of any English region – whilst 66 per cent of those questioned admitting feeling resentful to those who do make claims, as they expect their own insurance premiums to go up.
However, Mr Gordon says rare and extreme cases often focussed upon by sections of the media have not given a fair impression of the industry, which more often than not helps people rebuild their lives after life-changing accidents and injuries.
He added: “It is important to stress that as personal injury specialists, we only take on cases in which we are satisfied that a client has suffered a genuine injury which could and should have been avoided. It has to have been someone else’s fault, and an injury which could have been avoided with due care. There are very strict rules and codes of conduct for personal injury solicitors to follow.
“We are increasingly handling cases involving life-changing and catastrophic personal injuries. In these cases, we play a huge role in ensuring in supporting the victim to rebuilding their lives.
“As a business, we place a huge focus on the client’s health and well-being, not just a compensation figure. That is why we have established a host of partnerships to allow us to provide rehabilitation support, something particularly important for people who suffer serious personal injuries.”
Listen to Sean Gordon speaking to BBC Radio Humberside on the issue of personal injury claims here.