Accident compensation claims repay NHS

The cost of motor insurance and the NHS factor

If you bring a successful compensation case after an accident which involves an insured vehicle the Government can reclaim the cost of NHS treatment from the insurer of that vehicle. You might be surprised to learn how much money is paid across to the NHS from our insurance premiums.

The insurance industry is running a campaign which targets the fees paid to claimant lawyers. This campaign has been shown to be untrue in the findings of the House of Commons Transport Committee. Fraud, young drivers, and referral fees paid within the insurance industry were some of the main factors which increased insurance premiums according to the Committee.

Something which was not raised by the Committee was the fact the Government wants its money back in the event of a road traffic accident, an accident at work, an accident resulting in a public liability claim, or product liability. The Government point is that money has been paid out due to an accident which is someone’s fault. That someone, or more accurately their insurance company, should pay back the Government’s money. We hear complaints about a claims culture, but our Government is already on the case and claiming back its own spend. Let us tell you more.

State benefits, paid after accidents and injuries, and the cost of NHS treatment, are recovered through compensation cases. That recovery is only made if a compensation case is brought by the injured person. If claims for compensation are not made no recovery is made by the Government.

The cost recovered is huge. In March 2010 the NHS and Ambulance Trusts recovered £14,712,975. That is a huge sum of money. In the year from April 2009 to March 2010 the recovery was an amazing £181,765,235. Yes that is £181 million. This recovery scheme has only been around since 1999 for road accidents, and 2003 for accidents and injuries at work, accidents in a public place, and product liability.

I will not trouble you here with the scheme which allows recovery of most State benefits paid after accident or injury.

I make no complaint as this is a piece of social engineering. As motorists, as employers, and as property owners we have insurance to cover our liability for the damage we do through our fault. If we injure someone and are found to be responsible our insurance policy will pay up the compensation. That means a person involved in an accident can remain independent and not have to rely on the State for benefits.

All I ask is that Government stop targeting those who have no choice but to seek compensation after an accident caused by the fault of someone else. After all, they are doing the Government a favour, as if no compensation claim is made the State recovers nothing.

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About Mark Thompson

Personal injury and accident specialist solicitor
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