Personal injury in the United States has significant financial implications for individuals who may be subject to extended periods of time off work, rising medical bills, and the challenge of accommodating a family during tough times. While the burden of the compensation costs the U.S. billions of dollars a year, only one in seven victims are compensated for their medical expenses.
The latest judicial review from the UK Civil Justice department says that aggressive press advertising combined with a tenacious, public approach to injuries is fueling a “culture of claim”; the potential client is provided with the peace of mind of ‘No Win No Fee’ offers from attorneys. David Cameron recently introduced opposition measures to what he called “injury scandals”. He denounces the large amounts of whiplash claims, annually, and proposes legislation that would outlaw claims occurring in crashes at speeds of 10 mph or less. He argues that decreased insurance premiums would result from such legislation. Apparently this “penalize the victim to protect insurance company pocketbooks” mentality has traveled to the UK from the United States, where right wing attacks on civil justice victims have been going on for years.
Although 80% of the personal injury market in the UK is created from whiplash, the remaining 20% are often from complicated accidents that individuals often shy away from due to frightening costs and the fear of an unsuccessful case. Individuals should not be afraid to take personal injury cases to the courts when the financial impact on your work and home life can take a significant time to rebuild. The US system is friendlier then the UK as the losing defendant has to pay your costs as well as the compensation, but in contrast to the cost of healthcare the UK system will probably treat you with a friendly financial hand to engage with solicitor fees.
Many people have yet to realize the majority of personal injury cases fail to reach a courtroom as they are successfully settled by an offer from the defendant in satisfaction of your claim. This prevents the defendant from paying a higher court fee if they lose, and saves the prosecution time and a quick settlement. If you are successful in reaching an out of court agreement, your attorney may have negotiated the cost of your legal expenses, therefore providing you an additional savings for your time.
When first consulting with your attorney, the claims process should be understood clearly and concisely; potential roadblocks should be addressed from attorneys accustomed to engaging all party’s with financial problems. It is also important that potential clients feel comfortable and relaxed, so they are able to trust the legal process to work for them, including, but not limited to, a plan for all of the financial implications of personal injury litigation.
Author Bio – James Barnett is an author on behalf of Pannone, documenting medical research into finance and law.