Ridiculous Insurance Claims Likely After Doctor Report

Tuesday, 13. September 2011

Hi, Graham Hill here, thank you so much for visiting my blog, I hope you learn a lot and as a result end up driving a great car. In order to do so you can get all the information you need by buying my book, An Insider Guide To Car Finance or use me to finance your next car. Happy driving.

Is health and safety about to move to a new level or am I just being very cynical? If you, or a member of staff, has a car accident, whilst on company business, we now know (especially those that read my newsletter/blog) that much of the responsibility falls on the shoulders of the employer. The car has to be properly insured and maintained, irrespective of whether the car is owned by the employer or the employee. And there is a duty of care on the part of the employer to make sure that the employee understands his responsibilities to observe the driving regulations, including the use of mobile phones, eating and drinking whilst driving and driving whilst tired.

We also know that there are a number of bogus claims for whiplash which put up our insurance premiums, some of which are exposed when the recipient of a large payout is seen, and filmed, break dancing at a wedding or running a marathon.

But what is going to happen when it is revealed that many drivers suffer psychological trauma following an accident according to Dr Victoria BourneMsC (Hons) PhD of Dundee University.

According to the good doctor early psychological trauma is experienced straight after an accident, known to you and me as shock.

In most cases this condition is short lived but in some cases drivers can experience late psychological trauma which more often has long term effects with drivers having a fear of personal safety, worries about driving and stress when driving. In some cases drivers can end up with a clinical psychological condition.

It would seem that whilst employers are aware of the problems following an accident in which the driver has received physical injury, far too little is known about psychological injury and the possible affect on the business and fellow employees.

According to Dr Bourne the usual feelings of ‘fuzziness’, anxiety, depression and fear last for just a few days. The driver may avoid the place where the collision occurred for a while but the driver suffers no further psychological disorders beyond a few days.

However, a more severe consequence of an accident is Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Some investigations have shown up to 50% of those involved in vehicle accidents suffering from PTSD although most studies show the figure at about 10 – 15%.

Sometimes the symptoms do not surface for up to 6 months after the accident. With drivers driving on company business more likely to be involved in an accident than those driving for pleasure this is something that Dr Bourne feels should be looked at carefully by employers and understood by employees.

Those most likely to suffer this condition are those injured in the accident and those who weren’t responsible for it. Whilst I’m sure this is a serious condition and needs to be understood if an employee needs time off work or needs help to overcome the condition.

I feel this is simply another thing that is difficult to prove that could lead to increased insurance claims and employees taking time off work? Or do you know better, please share your thoughts? By Graham Hill

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