Personal Injury Claims Continue To Soar In 2015
In our modern world, it’s impossible to escape the compensation culture that surrounds us. It has become a multi-billion dollar industry and shows no sign of slowing down. Statistics suggest that personal injury claims continue to increase month on month. The scope and depth of claims are increasing which means claimants are suing in more categories. Common claims are now made for driving injuries, workplace accidents and medical malpractice.
With the average settlement price sitting at around $24,000, it’s no surprise. The entire process has become much simpler too, with 95% of cases settled out of court. Today we’re taking a deeper look at the model. We’ll explore how this industry has boomed in the manner it has done. Will this bubble eventually burst? or will we continue to see huge growth in the personal injury sector?
When it comes to injury compensation, the biggest sector is road traffic accidents. There are over 6 million car accidents every year in the US alone. A huge proportion of these accidents are now leading to personal injury claims. A big rise is attributed to the increase in whiplash compensation. Whiplash was originally discounted as a simple neck injury that quickly recovered. Now, it has become a more difficult problem with claimants seeking compensation against it. Whiplash lawsuits are now at a record level. In the UK, for example, whiplash is now included in over 80% of car accident claims.
Workplace accidents have witnessed another steep rise as well. Despite companies taking steps to improve safety and reduce hazards, claims are rising. Employees are becoming more and more comfortable taking action against their employers. This is thanks to business insurance policies that cover companies against this liability. Employees will calculate the costs of their health care and any loss of earnings. These figures can add up to a large sum even from a small trip or fall. The majority of these lawsuits arise from construction workers and factory employees.
Medical malpractice is the third big area of compensation. However, this is notoriously difficult to prove and therefore much harder to claim. Despite that, claims are rising. Recently in the UK, a 17 year old boy was left with ‘catastrophic brain damage’. This was as a result of failing to treat a blood disorder after birth. The subsequent medical malpractice suit afforded the family a multi million pound settlement. Medical malpractice compensation is difficult to settle for a number of reason. First of all, it’s not easy to add up the total costs of health care. The future costs of rehabilitation and life long care are near impossible to predict. There is also the issue of emotional distress. Can you ever put a figure on the emotional impact of losing a child or permanent injury?
Finally, personal injury claims are rising in other sectors. In the last five years, the number of personal injury claims against dog bits have risen. We’ve also seen a sharp incline in lawsuits against amusement parks. Are we close to hitting a ceiling in our compensation culture? There are certainly no signs to show it slowing down!