Examining no win no fee myths in the UK
There is a lot of condemnation in the UK media of a perceived 'compensation claim culture'. Most media outlets blame 'no win no fee claims farmers'. They say that 'compensation claim culture' is crippling our economy as companies become 'risk averse' because of the possibility of facing no win no fee claims.
The Trades Union Congress published a document that comprehensively debunks the 'compensation claim culture' myth. In this 2005 document they take ten accusations commonly directed at no win no fee claims and provide compelling evidence to disprove each one. We shall examine some of them.
'Compensation claims are spiralling out of control' - In fact, since the introduction of no win no fee claims, the cost of compensation claims in the UK has stayed the same since 1989. It is also significant that the number of work accident compensation claims fell in the period 2000-2005.
Workers are over-eager to make compensation claims - Every year more than 25,000 people are compelled to quit employment because of work accidents or illness. In addition, every year more than 850,000 people receive non career-ending work injuries. However, approximately only 60,000 workers a year make claims for work accident compensation. This makes for only 9 in 10 people who are entitled to accident at work compensation claims doing so. The fraction of no win no fee claims is even smaller.
The UK no win no fee system is becoming like that of the US - This is untrue as the two legal systems are markedly different. Compensation claim awards in the UK are made by judges, whereas in the US they are made by juries. The two no win no fee systems are different. In the US there is a system of 'punitive damages' applying to compensation claims that does not operate in the UK.
'Employers liability insurance is just another burden on big business' - At just 0.25% of total payroll costs, the UK pays less in employers liability insurance than any other European country. Unfortunately, even this does not act as enough of an incentive for employers to do more to prevent work accidents and subsequent no win no fee claims.
Personal injury solicitors exploit claims for their own financial gain - Compensation claims are generally prone to drag on - bumping up solicitors costs - not because of the personal injury solicitors themselves up because of employers' and insurers' reluctance to admit liability even in compensation claims where the evidence is relatively clear-cut.
Why no win no fee arrangements are necessary
Since the virtual abolition of legal aid for the majority of personal injury cases, no win no fee arrangements have represented the only chance for many of those injured in work accidents and car accidents to make compensation claims.
Far from being frivolous money grabbing exercises, the bulk of no win no fee claims have fair and appropriate compensation as their ultimate aim. Here are a selection of the kinds of claims a person might contact a no win no fee solicitor with:
Work accident fall - 'I suffered a neck injury when I fell from an unsecured scaffold. Since the fall I've been unable to work and have had to undergo extensive physiotherapy.'
Work accident trip - 'My boss left loose cables trailing in the office. I tripped over one and fell into a desk, breaking my nose and fracturing my wrist. I've not been able to type for nearly a month now.'
Car accident whiplash injury - 'A speeding vehicle hit me side-on at a busy junction. I sustained a whiplash injury which has left me in real pain. I still can't drive the kids to school because of it, even though it's been five weeks.'
It is clear that in each of these three cases there is a reasonable case for making a no win no fee claim. Only the most churlish of observers would deny that these people have a right to make a compensation claim. Compensation is a matter of justice, accounting for pain, injury, and loss of earnings, not a cultural malaise.
Making a no win no fee claim
Have you suffered a personal injury through no fault of your own? Whether it happened in a work accident or a car accident, you may be entitled to make a compensation claim.
At The Claim Solicitors we have an enviable success rate in dealing with no win no fee claims. We bring ethics, expertise and experience to every claim that we deal with, so you will be in good hands.
We work on a no win, no fee basis. What this means is that, in the event your case is not successful, you won't be charged a penny. It means that making a claim is a completely risk free process - this lets you focus on getting better, not worrying about money.
We are contactable 24hrs a day to advise you with your claim. You can choose from one of several options. Request a call back, fill out an online claim form, or call us for free on 0800 197 32 32.