The 6 myths about personal injury claims
Myth 1 “Most people who make a personal injury claim are making it all up”
From our experience this really isn't true. The press and the insurance industry often portray people who make a personal injury claim as liars and cheats but our experience is that this is far from the truth.
At Digby Brown we find that the vast majority of the people who contact us have been injured in genuine accidents that were not their fault. It really is rare for us to find someone who is acting fraudulently.
The clients we represent are people who have been injured due to the fault and negligence of another person or company. They have suffered an injury, pain and suffering. They may have been psychologically affected by the accident and their ability to work and carry out tasks of daily living might have been effected.
In all cases medical records are recovered which help prove injuries were suffered and all our client's are examined by independent medical experts who prepare reports verify that an injury was sustained.
We actively look to weed out fraudulent injury claims as we feel this detracts from those with genuine injuries. It is not in any firms interests to pursue fraudulent cases. Not only does it cost money and waste time, but prosecution of those involved can carry jail terms. Anyone with a genuine injury has nothing to worry about.
Myth 2 “If I make a claim against my employer they can sack me”
A lot of people worry about this but if your employer was to sack you expressly due to the fact you were making a claim for an injury at work, you would then have a further case against your employer for unfair dismissal.
If your employer began to make your life unbearable at work and you felt you were left with no choice but to resign, then you might still have a case for constructive dismissal.
Find more advice in our blog How to claim for an accident at work.
Myth 3 “You should never accept the first offer”
Sometimes people will say that they have heard they should never accept the first offer. This perhaps used to be the case in the past but things really have changed over the last 10 years or so.
There are often factors to be taken into account when considering the merits of any offer. At Digby Brown we have the legal experience and knowledge to be able to advise you as to whether the offer received from an insurer is a good offer or not. We will go out of our way to explain things as simply as possible and justify our decision to help you decide whether to accept or reject the offer.
Myth 4 “My friend got £10,000 compensation and mine is more serious so I should get more”
Again, this is not true. How a case is valued depends on many different factors. Yes, your friend’s injury might appear to have been less serious than yours. However, the injury alone is unlikely to be the only part of your claim and it is really impossible to compare your case with that of your friend.
Every injury is slightly different. We use case law from previous court cases and the Judicial Studies Board guidelines to value your injury case. A one year injury to your ankle will not attract the same award as a one year injury to your neck.
In addition to your injury you may also have other parts to your case such as loss of earnings from work, treatment costs and so on. Each and every case is unique. We use our experience to advise you as to the value of all the different aspects of your case and then we can advise you whether any offer you receive is in fact a good offer.
Myth 5 “Making a claim will be a lot of hassle”
This really should not be true. At Digby Brown we take pride in guiding our client’s through the process as simply as possible. We will organise as much of the process as we can for you and progress the case on your behalf. We might ask you to help us with certain aspects such as providing more information or seeing a medical expert, but you really should be able to rely on us to deal with a lot of the process for you.
Myth 6 “All personal injury lawyers are the same”
Again this is not true. At Digby Brown we are recognised as experts in the field of personal injury law. We are top rated for Personal Injury by both the leading independent guides to the UK Legal Profession, Chambers and Legal 500.
We have time and time again been consulted by people who have been represented by other lawyers where they have been given the wrong advice and have either under-settled their case or are being advised to.
Some people come to us after previously dealing with lawyers instructed by the insurers of the party at fault where they are unhappy about the service they have received or advice given.
Choosing the right lawyer is critical. You can find more advice here: Why use specialist, local lawyers for your personal injury case?