A surprising number of people do not claim personal injury compensation after an accident that wasn’t their fault. A detailed report carried out by the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL) ten years ago revealed that over 40% of people who could claim compensation for whiplash injuries after an accident didn’t do so.

The report only focuses on whiplash personal injury compensation. However, the evidence of our own experience as a specialist, personal injury only firm of solicitors, tells us that the percentage of people who could claim, but don’t, has increased further still. Indeed, statistics produced by the government’s Compensation Recovery Unit (CRU) in 2021 shows that the numbers of new claims registered with the CRU have fallen consistently in the past ten years.

What are the most common reasons why people don’t pursue personal injury claims?

1. I don’t want to be part of ‘The Compensation Culture’

Some people get put off from claiming accident injury compensation because they feel it is somehow morally wrong to do so – that they would be playing their part in fuelling what the press has labelled as a “compensation culture” that exists in the UK. They may have read articles written on behalf of insurance companies telling them that fraudulent claims are rife and that they would be part of the problem by making a claim.compensation

If you suffer personal injury and the accident which caused it was the fault of another person or organisation, you should claim.

The idea that a compensation culture exists, and fraudulent claims are rampant, is a myth.

You have the right to be compensated for the pain and suffering you suffer, and you deserve to get back to the position you were in before you had the accident.

2. Making a personal injury claim will cost too much in legal fees

The public perception of solicitors is that they cost too much. A lot of work has been done in recent years to counter this argument.

Where personal injury claims are concerned, using a personal injury solicitor to take on your compensation claim can be done on a basis where you won’t pay anything unless you win your claim and receive compensation.

This method of funding a claim uses a No Win No Fee Agreement. By entering into this type of agreement with a personal injury solicitor, your claim will be risk-free to you. If your claim fails, you will have nothing to pay. Only if your claim is successful will you have to pay a fee, which will be in the form of an agreed percentage of the compensation you recover from the other party.

Legal expenses, insurance and trades union representation are other ways of funding claims if you have the relevant insurance policy or are a union member.

3. I think I might be partly to blame, so  I don’t think I can claim

If you are partly to blame for an accident, you still might be able to pursue a successful claim. As long as your claim has some reasonable prospects of success, then many No Win No Fee personal injury solicitors will take on your claim.

Do you think you may be partly to blame for an accident in which you sustained injuries? Then pick up the phone to a firm of specialist personal injury solicitors like Mooneerams Solicitors and speak with one of their experienced team. It costs nothing to talk to them, and you might find out you can claim after all. Call Mooneerams and speak with one of our experienced legal advisors on 029 2048 3615.

Many successful pedestrian accident claims, cycling accident claims, motorcycle accident claims or accident at work claims almost didn’t get started because the injury victim initially thought they couldn’t make a claim.

If you feel you are partly responsible for an accident but want to know whether you still have a claim, you should call a personal injury solicitor. When you call and advise the solicitor of what happened in the accident, it’s likely you will receive a response along the lines of one of the following:

A)  Yes, it would appear that you are partially to blame for the accident, but the circumstances indicate that a court would decide liability on a 50:50 basis or even 75:25 in your favour.

B) From your description of how the accident happened, it would appear that the accident was entirely the other party’s fault and that you should fully succeed if you make a personal injury claim.

C) It appears you were 100% to blame for the accident. Still, you’ve lost nothing by making the call. If your claim gets turned down, you still might want to get a second opinion from another personal injury solicitor!

At Mooneerams, we take the view that as long as your potential claim has some prospects of success, the claim is worth pursuing, and we’ll handle it for you if you so wish. We decide each case strictly on its merits.

For instance, if you’ve suffered serious injuries, even if it appears you were 75% to blame for the accident, by recovering 25% compensation, the amount of money you get by pursuing compensation could still be substantial.

4. I’m worried I might lose my job if I make an accident at work claim against my employer

Injuries resulting from accidents at work are an everyday occurrence. Employers owe their employees a duty of care to keep them safe at work. If a worker gets injured and the accident was the fault of their employer, they are entitled to make an accident at work claim.

Bringing a claim in a road traffic accident is entirely different to starting a claim against your employer. You aren’t likely to know or have any relationship with the other road user involved.

With an accident at work, your claim would be against your employer – the person or organisation that pays your wages and keeps you employed.

Many employees who could pursue an accident at work claim won’t because they are frightened, they will get sacked if they claim.

So, what’s the truth – can you get sacked if you make a workplace accident claim against your employer?

The answer is ‘no’. Your employer has no legal right to sack you for claiming for an accident at work, and if they were to, you would have grounds to claim for unfair dismissal.

Equally, if they don’t sack you but try to make your life uncomfortable whilst you are at work, because of the claim you are pursuing, you may be entitled to claim for constructive dismissal if it gets too much for you and you leave your job.

In truth, most employers accept that running a business brings with it a possibility that accidents at work will happen and that the company may be responsible for some of those accidents.

Similarly, if a worker files an accident at work claim, whilst the employer will not be ecstatic, most pass the claim details over to their employers’ liability insurers and let them deal with it. All employers are required to have this type of insurance

Don’t put off claiming because you think you might get sacked. It’s doubtful it will happen.

In the improbable event you get dismissed for starting an accident at work claim, you will have solid grounds for taking your employer to an Employment Tribunal, and your injury claim will continue too.

5. The accident occurred too long ago to make a claim

If you are going to make a personal injury claim, there’s no denying that the sooner you go to see a personal injury solicitor, the better. However, if the accident happened a long time ago, don’t just assume that it was too long to make a claim.

There can be various reasons why people don’t start claims soon after an accident. The court rules recognise this and allow a reasonable period to bring a personal injury claim. After this period, if a claim has not started, it will become ‘time-barred’ When this happens, you can no longer claim compensation.

Important point. Starting a claim doesn’t refer to the first time you contact a solicitor – it means filing papers at court to commence court proceedings. Nevertheless, you still have more than enough time to start a personal injury claim, an asbestos disease claim or a clinical negligence claim.

  • For most adults, the time limit for bringing a claim is three years from the date of the accident or incident that was the cause of your injuries or illness.
  • The three-year period for children under eighteen does not start until they reach their eighteenth birthday and ends on their twenty-first birthday. So, if a child has an accident at the age of five, they don’t need to start their claim until they are eighteen. (In reality, their parents or guardian are likely to start a claim on their behalf whilst the child is still a minor).
  • For protected persons who lack mental capacity, their time limit for claiming for personal injury only starts when they regain capacity. However, they will have guardians or attorneys appointed by the Court of Protection or a Power of Attorney who can bring a claim on their behalf.
  • If the protected person never regains mental capacity,  their time for making a claim will never end, meaning a claim could be made on their behalf at any time during their life.

In some accident or injury circumstances, it would be unfair if the time limit for claiming commenced on the date of the incident causing the injury or illness. In cases of medical negligence or asbestos claims, it is often impossible to pinpoint when the negligence took place

Asbestos-related illnesses are only diagnosed many years after the victim was exposed to asbestos, and the period between exposure and diagnosis can be between ten to sixty years.

An asbestos victim can’t start an asbestos claim until diagnosed with asbestos disease. Even then, it’s impossible to know the precise date or dates of the exposure that was the cause of their condition.

The same applies to medical negligence. A health care professional‘s negligence caused that physical or mental harm may only come to light at a much later date than when the negligence occurred. It may not be possible to pinpoint when the negligent act occurred.

For these reasons, the time limit for bringing a claim for medical negligence or asbestos disease ( and in some personal injury cases) will be three years from the Claimant’s date of knowledge, with ‘date of knowledge’ being defined as the date the Claimant became aware;

  1. That the injury or illness was a significant one.
  2. That the injury or illness was attributable in whole or in part to the act or omission alleged to constitute negligence or breach of duty.
  3. Of the identity of the proposed Defendant in the claim

If that sounds like pretty complicated stuff to get your head around, you would be right. If you are unsure whether you can claim because the accident happened years ago, call Mooneerams on 029 2048 3615. One of our legal team will be happy to provide you with initial legal advice entirely free of charge.

6. I don’t want to claim because I don’t want to go to court

Some people have an understandable fear that if they make a claim, it will mean that they will have to go to court. That reason alone puts people off claiming, and in doing so, they miss out on getting the compensation they deserve.

The truth is that court proceedings are commenced in a high percentage of personal injury cases. Yet, the number of those cases that end up in a court hearing before a Judge is small.

If you have an efficient personal injury solicitor handling your claim, they will likely issue court proceedings in your case, and for a variety of reasons:

  • The other person (the ‘third party’) to the claim denies liability – so your solicitor issues proceedings to put pressure on them to change their stance. Very often, issuing court proceedings can cause the third-party insurers/solicitor to admit liability where it was previously disputed.
  • The insurers or solicitors of the Defendant are dragging their heels – issuing proceedings starts a process that works by providing time limits for doing specific procedures. The nearer a case gets to court, the more pressure builds on the Defendant to settle.
  • The insurers or solicitors of the third party are dragging their heels: part 2 – quite often, the very act of issuing court proceedings brings from the other party either an offer to settle or a request to discuss a negotiated settlement.
  • The other party have made an offer or offers, but they refuse to meet what your solicitor advises is the total value of your claim as advised by your solicitor. Issuing proceedings puts pressure on the third party to increase their offer. The nearer a case gets to trial, the more likely you will get a more acceptable offer to settle your claim.
  • Finally, you have issued proceedings, but the other side continues to dispute all or some part of your case. Yes, the case will get closer and closer to a hearing. Even if the claim doesn’t settle beforehand, it may still do so on the evening before the court case. It may even settle on the morning of the hearing.
  • The case doesn’t settle and go to court –  but by now, you’ll know a lot more about the claims process and the strength of your case. You’ll also know (and trust) your solicitor well.

In other words, you’ll be less fazed about going to court than you would have been before your case started.

It’s most likely that your claim is being handled on a No Win No Fee basis, meaning that if you should lose the case, you’ll have nothing to pay, as long as you have been entirely honest about how the accident happened and the nature and extent of your injuries.

Finally, if you do end up at court and you win your case, you’ll breathe a sigh of relief and realise it’s all been worthwhile.

Mooneerams solicitors are specialist personal injury solicitors with over twenty years ‘experience of handling personal injury claims of all types, including;

Pedestrian accident claims

Cycling accident claims

Motorcycle accident claims

Accident at Work claims

Accidents in Public Places

Call us on 029 2048 3615

or contact us online

We handle most personal injury claims on a No Win, No Fee basis.