More thoughts, submitted on an occasional basis by our Guest Blogger: Jack Diamond.
It’s gone mad, hasn’t it? Compensation culture, I mean.
I was out driving the other day when I had an accident. Yes, it was my fault, I drove into the car in front. Not a serious accident – or so I thought at the time anyway. The car in front pulled away at a junction and the road was clear in both directions so I followed. Then the driver in front slams their brakes on. There’s a minor bump; after all, we were only going a few miles an hour. We both pulled over and noted there was some damage to the bumper of the car in front so we swapped insurance details. All fine and dandy.
A few weeks later I get a letter from my insurance company saying they are settling the claim for damage to the third party’s vehicle plus paying something in the region of £5,000 in compensation for ‘whiplash’ injuries to soft tissue.
Now, I do have the details of the person who was in the car in front of me, I have their address and phone number. Do you think it would be right for me to contact them and ask them what they are playing at?
I’m not one to call someone a liar but in this instance I shall make an exception. I don’t believe there was ever any whiplash injury in this accident. What I think happened was that the person was contacted by some unscrupulous no-win no-fee outfit and told they could claim several thousand Pounds in compensation if they simply tick this box. It’s probably difficult to turn down that sort of offer, especially if you have very few or absolutely no morals.
No, it didn’t cost me anything, not directly anyway, but it costs us all more in increased insurance premiums. In fact, it costs around two billion Pounds per year. We all have to pay in the end.
It’s interesting to note that 8 out of every 10 personal injury claims in road traffic accidents are for whiplash, yet we’ve had head restraints fitted to every new vehicle in the UK for many, many years now which are designed to help prevent just this sort of injury.
And it’s not just motoring insurance either where this compensation culture exists.
I was reading recently about a woman who is suing a holiday company because she was knocked over by a wave when in the water and broke some bones. Sorry, but how is the holiday company to blame for this? Or is it a case of ‘I’ve been hurt, someone must be to blame’? Someone apart from herself, obviously.
When did we start to blame someone else for what goes wrong in our lives? When did we stop being responsible for our own actions or accept that something might just be an accident and not someone’s fault? And when did we, as a nation, become so morally corrupt that we would lie about an injury just to get a payout?
From the BBC website: Does the UK have a problem with whiplash?
The UK has been called the “whiplash capital of Europe”. It’s said to cost the insurance industry about £2bn a year.
And there’s solicitors who make a living out of making claims on your behalf:
Bott & Co is a multiple award-winning specialist no win no fee consumer rights solicitors firm … We employ over 105 staff … The business had a turnover of £11.1m in 2015.
Use our whiplash claims calculator below to see how much you may be able to claim.
From the ITV website: Three holiday makers sue travel company after being injured by waves on beach
Three British tourists are suing a tour operator after they were injured by waves at a beach while holidaying in Cape Verde.
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(The views expressed in our Guest Blogs are personal opinions only and do not reflect the views of PCGraphics.)