Car insurance claims: expensive but needed for the injured

Personal injury news roundup: 7 days ended 8 July 2014:

Personal injury solicitors may make a killing on legal fees when it comes to making successful car accident claims, but the payouts are huge for a reason.

Everyone grouses and whinges about how many road traffic accident claims end up costing insurers millions of pounds thanks to the high value of personal injury compensation awards. It’s true; damages awards for many car crashes are exorbitantly high, but there’s a very important reason why the legal bill is so high: serious crashes can completely destroy a victim’s life.

Don’t believe me? Let me draw your attention to two major news stories that broke this week involving multi-million pound compensation payouts for crash victims. In both cases they involved young men that had been riding as a passenger in a vehicle, only to have their lives changed in one irrevocable instant. For one of these victims, the use of his legs is gone, permanently; for another, massive head trauma will prevent him from leading a productive life. Either injury is debilitating and heart-breaking, and the millions they’ve both won in the courts recently isn’t going to go to fund extravagant lifestyles – instead it’s going to provide for the lifelong care of these two men.

This is the ultimate tragedy of bad car accidents, as they can wreck lives as easily as they can result in a car chassis mangled beyond recognition. Are you really going to begrudge someone who, through no fault of their own, is now permanently disabled for the remainder of their natural life simply because they had the ill luck to be traveling as a passenger in a vehicle that crashed? What about those drivers that were minding their own business and driving responsibly only to become embroiled in an accident caused by another driver, should they be penalised as well?

The answer is of course not, but sometimes I think we lose sight of the fact that there are real and true consequences to car crashes, and that there’s some very real collateral damage in the form of human injury. Insurers like to complain about how personal injury lawyers are sucking them dry with high compensation awards but what’s the alternative? Surely you’re not suggesting we leave these poor crippled victims with no help whatsoever?

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