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Seeking for compensation after a traffic accident is not always a good idea

Posted April 11, 2017

Pretty much none of us are protected from road accidents, unless one stays at home all the time. Sometimes a small accident can only cause some minor damage, but it is still frustrating and reduces the quality of life for quite some time. A new study from Monash University has found that people who seek compensation after a road accident typically take longer to recover.

Road accidents are always traumatic events, but people who do not seek compensation typically recover quicker. Image credit: Thue via Wikimedia

Some people see a traffic accident as a possibility to get some extra cash, while other are really facing some unexpected costs, related to skipping work or buying medicine. However, as this new study reveals, seeking compensation may actually make the recovery longer. This phenomenon is described as ‘the compensation effect’ – people engaging compensation system recover slower and take more time to come back to work and social activities. One might think that people who got more significant injuries seek compensation more often and their recovery time is unrelated with the engagement with the system, but scientists explain this phenomenon differently.

They say that many factors are playing a role in this phenomenon – adversarial relations with insurers, negative experiences with health professionals, or conflict with family members. Considering oneself a victim is also important, because the feeling of injustice has a large effect on mental health, which in turn affects recovery process. And so, those who do not attribute guilt to someone else and instead use this energy and time to relax and focus on the healing process, recover much quicker. In fact, psychological tension from dealing with compensation system may contribute to chronic pain and mental health conditions.

But what should these people do? Some of them really face financial losses after a traffic accident that they did not cause in any way. Putting yourself into a poor financial state is definitely not going to improve the recovery time and seeking for compensation may be the only way out of the situation. Scientists say that compensation system should be more sensitive to the problem in a way, making procedures simpler and more comfortable for the people with injuries.

Getting into a traffic accident is really terrifying, even if it is not life-threatening. However, the recovery process afterwards is very exhausting as well, as people wish to return to normal life as soon as possible. Focusing on yourself may be the best thing to do in such situation.


Source: Monash University

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