This article was originally published in the Harrogate Living Magazine, a popular local publication.
In the vast majority of cases when someone has sustained an injury due to someone else’s breach of the law, it is morally right to pursue a personal injury claim. As a personal injury solicitor working in Harrogate, I love my job and wouldn’t do my job if I thought that it was immoral. It isn’t. Due to deliberate distortions by those with vested interests, the arguments for why it is ethical to make a personal injury claim, never see the light of day. With this wonderful opportunity to argue my case unopposed, I offer the following incontrovertible evidence in support.
1. If someone or an organisation has caused you an injury (and let’s not forget just how awful it is to be injured), then by making a claim you are making it far less likely that other people will be injured as you were. Have you ever seen yellow wet floor sign in a supermarket, or a painted pothole in a road? Such systems are deployed in order to reduce injuries because these organisations have been sued before. Win or lose, by making a claim you are helping people whom you’ll never meet, by preventing future accidents. Do you agree with me?
2. Often, when someone is seriously injured in accident, they require taxpayer support in the form of benefits, usually because the injured person can no longer work. If a successful compensation claim is pursued, then the taxpayer usually is able to recoup the benefits from the negligent party’s insurers. This saves the taxpayer a fortune. Did you know this?
3. Similar to 2, all the NHS costs caused by, say, dangerous driving are recouped from the negligent party’s insurers, thereby saving the taxpayer a fortune. Again, did you know this?
4. When a claim is submitted, and fault is admitted by an insurer, it is common for the insurers to provide rehabilitation in order to accelerate the person’s recovery. If a claim isn’t made, perhaps someone’s injuries will become permanent. Are you with me so far?
5. Insurance premiums increase for those who cause the most damage to others. Fact: increasing insurance premiums deter further accident-causing events. And who doesn’t want to live in a safer society?
6. Successful claims only occur when the law has been broken. If there was no mechanism to enforce the law, then the law would be meaningless. An injured person, who makes a successful claim, is essentially just enforcing their legal rights, leading to greater respect for the rule of law. Do I have your agreement, dear reader?
7. Particularly in serious injury cases, in which our clients may have been paralysed, we take enormous pleasure in helping our clients to rebuild their lives. In some cases, house adaptations as well as round-the-clock nursing care, can really make a difference to our client’s quality of life. Can you see my point? In closing, dear reader, in all my years representing injured people, I can only think of one client who thought that the compensation payment was worth the injury – and that was because damaged teeth are “worth” more than you would think (due to the cost of future private dentistry). All the other poor clients, if they had a magic wand, would of course hand the money back in a flash if it meant they didn’t suffer injury. My clients inspire me, making me proud of my work. Do drop in for a tea or coffee if you want to discuss your case with me.