The myth of compensation culture in the UK has prevented many injured people making a claim through personal injury solicitors for compensation. This is despite the fact that they are entitled to financial compensation and could greatly benefit from making a claim.
There are so many stories out there about people who have ended up in financial hardship after an accident because they were too scared to make a claim that they were entitled to. There have been stories, over the internet, from people who have been seriously injured because of someone else’s negligence yet despite struggling to make mortgage repayments, using up all of their savings and having mounting debt, they still refuse to make a claim because of what others may think of them.
One of these victims is a mother of two who fell down some stairs in a public place because of poorly maintained floors. She suffered some serious injuries including needing physiotherapy for two years after the accident to help her regain full use of her legs, she also suffered facial scarring. Fear of what others would think of her prevented her from claiming, despite consulting a personal injury solicitor who told her she had a strong case. It was only when the finance troubles became unbearable that she decided to write about her problem on Mumsnet:
“The incident occurred due to defective flooring (worn metal). The HSE are involved and the local council have informed me an inspection has taken place – the establishment involved were duty bound to report due to the severity of the accident.
The repercussions have been enormous. My husband was working abroad and had to be brought home (took 2 days). I have 2 pre-school children and I am unable to do anything for them. I need help with the most basic tasks – washing & dressing myself etc. never mind looking after kids. My husband is paid per the day and we have lost a lot of money in wages due to him coming home – he does not get paid when not working. He will have to go back to work next week as all our savings are needed for next month’s bills. I will need to rely heavily on family and friends.”
Duty of care
A duty of care is held by anyone who owns any kind of property. If you have an accident at work then your employer has a duty of care to make sure everything is safe for their staff to use. If you have an accident in a public place then the shop owner or council have a duty of care. If the responsible party fail at their duty of care then they are liable for any accidents that take place.
If you have an accident that causes a personal injury then it’s really important to get in contact with a solicitor. They will be able to evaluate the evidence available – your injuries and the location of the accident – and tell you whether you have grounds to make a claim.