Myth Busting Compensation

By Tanith Harwood

Compensation a topical headline in the press, for example you may have heard the phrase “Compensation Culture”. However, often compensation is found to be misunderstood. We are expanding on our previous post about compensation to bust the myths that surround it and to continue our support to APIL’s #RebuildingShatteredLives campaign.


There is sometimes the misconception that workers are too ready and eager to make compensation claims against their employers. In 2019/20 there were 79,027 employment claims made, however in the same year there were 653,052 motoring claims made[1]. When you compare the data, employment claims in comparison are not so high!

Also, the law changed in 2013 making it harder for workers to claim. The introduction of Section 69 of the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act reversed the burden of proof in favour of employers.

Medical Negligence

The NHS is much loved, and over the past two years it battled bravely during the COVID-19 pandemic. Many people become emotive when discussing the NHS and compensation. When someone is already ill and vulnerable and they are harmed even further, then accountability is needed so mistakes do not happen again. When the NHS fails, it needs to be answerable just like any other publicly funded body.

The compensation payable by the NHS is not the fault of an injured person, nor their legal representatives. The only way to reduce the compensation bill is for patients to stop being injured by negligence and to learn from the mistakes made.

Did you know

  • The cost of clinical negligence claims against in the NHS made up just 2% of the NHS England annual spend on healthcare in 2017/18.[2]
  • Maternity claims remain the highest value area representing 50% of the total value of all clinical negligence claims received. [3]

Is there a ‘compensation culture’?

The Government introduced the Civil Liability Act 2018 as a way to curb “whiplash claims”.

Compensation is paid when someone is negligent. Negligence is when someone does something and you can reasonably expect will injure someone else. Compensation is paid to put the claimant back into the position that they were before the accident. It is not a ‘win’.

The Compensation Recovery Unit (CRU) reported that 2017/2018 reported that the number of cases registered with it fell by 13% to 853,615. [4]

If you have been injured and need expert help and advice, you can:

 Visit our website:

Phone: 01792 655178



[1] Compensation Recover Unit performance data July 2021

[2] APIL ‘Reality Check’ publication dated June 2019

[3] NHS Resolution’s annual report and accounts 2019/20 dated 16th July 2020

[4] Law Gazette ‘Compensation culture? Stats reveal claims numbers in freefall’ dated 24th April 2018