Whether it’s £4k or £4m, the injured need compensation

Industry news roundup: week ended 3 Nov 2014:

Injured Brits making accident claims need to get the personal injury compensation coming to them, whether that figure is £4,000 to £4 million.

It’s a tough business, suffering an injury at work or as a result of some other accident. It can leave you with missed pay and mounting medical bills, and whether it’s a little or a lot claimants often need the cash they’re awarded in compensation in order to alive.

Consider the case of Jonathan Wain, which has been making the rounds this week. The factory worker had been working as a mixing bay operator for a bakery in Trent Vale when a metal pipe fell and struck him on the head. The 56 year old worker ended up needing three stitches to stanch the flow of blood from his head wound and was off work for seven weeks as his concussion healed. Apparently the metal pipe hadn’t been sealed properly, causing it to drop on the poor bloke’s head and brain him so severely. Luckily he was able to get some compensation from his employer, which went a long way in rectifying the situation for him.

Meanwhile not all cases are so open and shut. Think about this: 26 year old Paul Vallance had to fight for eight long years before he prevailed on his personal injury compensation claim. Vallance had been involved in an accident at the age of 18 when another driver lost control and slammed into his car, causing severe brain injuries that doctors couldn’t even initially detect.

The poor sod’s brain injury completely changed his personality. Whereas before he had been a calm, cool and collected young bloke, the Vallance that emerged after the incident has been hostile and angry to the point where he’s unable to control his words or deeds. It’s been impossible for the man to hold a job down since then, and while the former trainee manager might have recovered from the broken nose, shoulder and leg he suffered in the crash the damage to his cognitive skills has taken much longer.

Vallance temporarily lost the ability to speak after the incident, yet as he healed the words he was able to once again string together were abusive and aggressive. Vallance’s mother said he would stare into the mirror for hours on end, repeating that he looked like himself but didn’t feel like himself; this prompted his mother to make a claim on behalf of her son. Finally, after a protracted eight-year-long legal battle Vallance has been awarded a £4 million compensation claim, which will pay for the specialised care he is likely to need for the remainder of his life.

Aviva pushes for consultation, research refutes their claims

Industry news roundup: week ended 4 Aug 2014:

Major insurance provider Aviva has been pushing for a Government consultation on whiplash claims, yet even as they do so evidence emerges that it’s not needed.

The insurer has been whinging lately about how much money it’s shelling out when it comes to personal injury compensation attached to whiplash claims. Fraud is incredibly rampant, Aviva says, and the number of spurious accident claims being made against it are positively crippling it financially. To that effect it made waves last week in pushing for an idea as absolutely stupid as it is revolutionary: eliminating cash awards for whiplash claims and instead only providing rehabilitation. Aviva’s idea is that it will eliminate fraud since there’s no actual cash awards any more.

The idea is of course laughable, but Aviva is married to the concept. It’s even gone so far as to urge the Ministry of Justice to conduct a public consultation in the hopes that it will build up steam. I suppose you have to give the insurer credit where it’s due by not giving up, but I don’t really think they’re going to get anywhere with this whole concept. Meanwhile new research has just come to light that reveals how flawed Aviva’s approach might be – a new YouGov poll revealed that the number of people making claims for personal injury are relatively low.

In fact, YouGov found that today only one out of every four Brits that suffered an accident or injury of any kind would actually pursue a personal injury compensation claim today. That’s a drop of about four percentage points from the last YouGov poll in 2013, indicating that there are actually less people inclined to make claims against insurers today than there were just 12 short months ago. Fewer potential claimants means fewer claims as well – and that means less money flowing out of Aviva’s coffers (or the coffers of all insurers) and into the pockets of the injured.

Apparently that’s just not enough for Aviva; they want to limit their liability by much more. I’m sure they’d love that but that’s not how this game is played – if Aviva wants to not pay so much in whiplash claims maybe it should run a few advert campaigns on not driving like bloody lunatics. It would likely be more effective in the long run.

 

 

It’s no fun at all being the victim of a serious injury, now is it?

Industry news roundup: week ended 10 June 2013:

Much has been said about the massive personal injury compensation payouts that accident victims can get, but the pain of injury isn’t exactly fun, you know.

In fact, there were two major news stories this week recounting how people have been privy to massive damages awards thanks to their hard-working personal injury solicitors. Both payouts were well over £1 million, but it’s not like these claimants are going to be sitting back and living the good life now – they have serious medical conditions that need looking after; this cash goes towards such care, not an all-expenses holiday somewhere sunny and warm.

Think about it: do you think it was fun for poor Rebecca Coles to collide with a boat as she was being towed in an inflatable ring in Suffolk on the River Orwell? The 19 year old was injured so badly that a piece of her skull had to be removed in order to help her recover – and that recovery includes permanent mobility impairment as well as reduced hearing and vision thanks to her brain injuries – so don’t think that the £1.37 million being paid to her is going to be living the high life any time soon.

Likewise the claimant in a personal injury compensation claim that just won some £10 million in damages isn’t going to be rubbing elbows with Richard Branson anytime soon. James Kennedy, a recruitment consultant living and working in Rome at the time of the incident, won the compensation award after the details of a catastrophic accident left him with massive brain injuries; the 37 year old man was struck by a vehicle driven by a Catholic priest of all people, who then fled the scene temporarily before a very angry crowd chased after him and bloodied his face; say what you want about Italians but they don’t let behaviour like that stand, especially from a priest!

Meanwhile, poor Mr Kennedy isn’t going back to Rome any time soon, considering how the accident left him with absolutely crippling injuries. In fact, he was in a coma for ten long months following the incident, only to awake with the kinds of life-changing injuries that require medical care for the rest of his life – something that absolutely contributed to the massive payout on his car accident claim.

For the priest’s part, I heard he was sentenced to a month in prison and slapped with a hefty fine. Good, I say – no man of God would flee the scene of a horrific accident, much less one that actually caused it in the first place!

Police officers suffer from personal injury at work, too

Industry news roundup: week ended 8 Apr 2013:

You may think your job is dangerous, but imagine for a minute suffering a personal injury at work whilst working for your local police.

In fact, that’s exactly what’s going on in the news this week, as two police personnel file two unrelated personal injury claims for injures they’ve suffered whilst on the job. In fact one police officer, PC Kelly Jones of Norfolk Police, has actually ended up being criticised after she not only took legal action against her own force but for making a personal injury claim against the owner of a petrol station where PC Jones tripped as she answered a 999 call.

Norfolk Police refused to comment on either of PC Jones’ oustanding injury claims, though it is understood that the police force has admitted liability for one claim. The other claim, concerning the petrol station owner, is still ongoing as well.

Meanwhile, in a completely unrelated case the victim of a burglary is being sued for £10,000 in personal injury compensation by a police officer who supposedly fell into a drain and tore his Achilles tendon as he was investigating the break-in. Shop owner Stuart Lambley called on the police in his time of need, only to have to face a compensation claim made by 34 year old PC Richard Seymour, who seeks to recover loss of overtime – even though the six months PC Seymour was off work as his injuries healed was with full pay.

Mr Lambley is quite outraged, actually, and I really can’t blame him. Where does PC Seymour get off with suing the poor man for £10,000 in lost overtime if he was actually paid as he convalesced? The shop owner is certainly not going to be calling the police any more if he’s going to be in constant danger of being sued by police personnel who respond to his pleas of help, he says.

For what it’s worth, you shouldn’t be signing up to be a police officer if you’re afraid of suffering some harm here and there. Most police forces will take care of their own if they’re injured whilst on the job – such as paying PC Seymour for six months worth of sick leave – so it looks like to me these particular coppers aren’t exactly the type that are interested in protecting and serving anyone but their own best interests.

These are the types of people protecting us and keeping us safe from harm?  Have we all become so frail and easily hurt that we have to sue the victims of crimes for compensation? Simply unbelievable.