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10:15 on Wednesday
11 May 2005

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Fall in motor claims signals end of ‘compensation culture


Business | Press | News

More cars than ever before are using Britain’s roads, but latest figures from the Government show the number of motor claims decreased by six per cent over the last year. Peterborough law firm Hegarty & Co suggest the reason is that there has been a change of attitude towards the ‘compensation culture’ in the UK.

Partner Matthew Sidebottom explained, “Since 1996, when the Government stopped legal aid for personal injury claims we saw the emergence of a ‘compensation culture’ in the UK. People were bombarded with adverts urging them to claim compensation if they had been in an accident. It was portrayed that making a claim was a simple and easy way to get money.”


As the ‘compensation culture’ boomed, so did reports in the media about the conduct of some of the companies involved. Articles highlighted people being influenced to make fraudulent claims, being misled on policies and how some only received a fraction of their compensation. A number of these personal injury claims organisations are no longer trading, including the Accident Group, which was the UK’s biggest personal injury claims firm that collapsed in May 2003.

Mr Sidebottom continued, “These latest figures from the Compensation Recovery Unit, show that fewer motor claims are being made. I don’t think it’s because we are becoming better drivers, and logically the number of accidents should rise as the volume of traffic increases. Now, there are fewer organisations encouraging people to make claims, and people have seen the problems that others have encountered by using organisations like the Accident Group.”

It is not just motor vehicle claims that have decreased in the past year, employers’ liability accident claims have decreased by 15 per cent, clinical negligence claims have decreased by 11 per cent and public liability claims have decreased by 17 per cent.

Matthew, who is on the Law Society’s Personal Injury Panel, concluded, “These figures clearly illustrate the move away from a ‘compensation culture’. However, if a person has genuinely suffered injuries due to someone’s neglect, they should make a claim and should receive compensation. I would always urge them to get advice from a solicitor who specialises in this field and has the experience to advise them properly.”

May 2004

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