Compensation culture

Whether we choose to admit it, we do live in a society where we have that attitude of “where there’s blame there’s a claim”. Slowly starting to match itself with the American culture of during everyone for everything.

The recent group litigation case against Maybelline, for misleading and false advertising that their lipstick lasts for 14 hours only backs up my point. You can read about it here, “A Kiss doesn’t last Forever” I mean seriously? How long did it take them to realise that the lipstick didn’t last that long, the lipstick itself only costs about $10 – how many did these women buy? They haven’t lost anything, apart from their cost of the lipstick. Surely damages for, I don’t know, consequential loss for not having red lips for as long as advertised is fool hardy!

The only outcome I can see from this is that we will have tag lines of a disclaimer stating that “the lasting effects may differ from person to person and may not be up-to 14 hours”, similar to mascara adverts where fake eyelashes are used and this is now stated on the advert.

It’s an invitation to treat anyway, and doubt it would be arguably similar to Carlill v Carbolic Smoke Ball Company due to them not staying “if it doesn’t we will give you compensation” or similar.

It make me angry when things like this case occur. What are the lawyers thinking? Obviously just thinking about their balance sheets and not whether the case would go anywhere.

This is the problem though, with all the adverts on TV, radio and magazines asking if you have been injured. Some solicitors even offering £1000 upfront or an iPad if you take your claim with them. Accidents just don’t happen anymore, it’s always someone’s fault.

A lot of people probably aren’t that Injured and are just looking for a quick payout because they can. How many fraudulent road traffic accidents are there? These are what are making our insurance premiums rise. It doesn’t matter about whether you have been involved in an accident it’s to do with the amount of fake claims that happen.

It’s those people that put people off from actually making a claim when they are injured. I feel guilty because I’m claiming for my two accidents I was involved in. Both which weren’t my fault.

The first was in October 2011 on the motorway where the other driver failed to stop, they wrote my car off. Yet a year later I’m still waiting for my car to be repaired or money for the pre-accident value. The second was in August and I was a passenger, I’m still in a lot of pain now as this accident exacerbated my previous injuries which I still wasn’t fully recovered from.

I’m clearly injured, yet why do I feel guilty? I’m within my right to claim as I have incurred losses. I’ve had no car for a year yet still have to pay the premium, I’ve been injured resulting in me having time off work (unpaid) which ruins my reputation as an employee for having time off as well despite the doctor signing me off. I’m currently writing this on my iPhone whilst tucked up in bed because of my injuries and not being allowed to drive to work.

I remember I had a client who I was interviewing for the beginning of their claim, they clearly hadn’t incurred any losses and were just like “yeah put that” in response to a question of “have you suffered from any chest problems…” Which there was then a series of multiple answers and they needed to tell me whether it was wheezy or phlegmy etc without me leading them.

Another client who claimed to be bedridden and then the insurance investigators visited and watched him run from downstairs to upstairs and get into bed.

It’s those people that present the bad reputation and give rise to the compensation culture.

The media and Solictors don’t help either, after all they are a business, trying to survive like the rest of us. But taking on claims like those, and continuing to run them even after that point is just wrong.

Just don’t get me started on PPI Claims. That’s a whole new rant all together (3 texts in a day I received telling me I was owed PPI of different amounts – I’ve never even taken out PPI) and one I shouldn’t get into considering I work on those sorts of cases – not that we are involved in the cold calling!




About ambaroyle

Full time LJMU Law student. View all posts by ambaroyle

9 responses to “Compensation culture

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  • David Rosen

    I would take the argument further. The compensation culture derives from a society where everyone now demands consumer items as if it were a right, and they don’t care what they have to do to get them (no surprise that some PI lawyers are offering free Ipads, they are nothing if not marketing savvy).

    The worst of it is that many in society now are behaving as though fraud is ok – if my neighbour Bloggs has made a claim, legitimate or not, why shouldn’t I, is the mentality. This is bad news for society indeed.

    • ambaroyle

      Agreed, I do think the companies are very clever in the way they obtain their client base and if I had my own firm I would likely do something similar.

      I do think they encourage it on some level, as it adds to that mentality of “why should I?” I was involved in an accident yesterday morning where I scuffed the back of a ladies car as I passed her due to her and the car in front of her stopping abruptly on a round about. I went and attended to her and the response I got was “I can’t move my head or neck etc”. It was an LVI as she was stationary and me doing approximately 5mph and everyone knows that a whiplash injury doesn’t come on straight away – it takes a day or two. But she has seized an opportunity despite the fact she admitted liability at the scene and apologised to me. It’s that sort of mentality that annoys me. If you are genuinely injured through no fault of your own, then why not get some compensation for it?! If you aren’t and are using it as a “easy money” solution – that’s the attitude which gets in my nerves.

      As a paralegal running a claimant caseload, it was so difficult to tell the difference from a genuine claimant to a fake one. I’d much rather just steer clear from that area of law.

      Thanks for your comment – apologies if this is a bit long, as I went off on a bit of a tangent!

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