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Ivor and the Unluckiest Names for Injury Claims

"Mr Thickins, Mr Thickins! Beware!" I said, flying into the office. "You may be in grave danger!"

"What’s the matter, Ivor?" he said, looking up from his latest case.

“Your name… it’s David Thickins. And David has been found to be the unluckiest name in Britain!” I said, brandishing a copy of the Financial Times in my claw. Mr Thickins took the paper.

“Hmmm…” he said, reading the article intently.

“You see, Davids are more likely to suffer trips, pull muscles at work, or cut themselves,” I said. “It’s just a good job that you’re a solicitors and not a fisherman – they’re the most likely to have an accident at work, alongside builders, farmers and truckers.”

“Oh dear me,” he said.

“Joanne is the unluckiest female name, but Laura is number 6 in the list of female names, so we’d better warn Laura Lewis. I think Patrick is safe, but I don’t know about Leighton-David McAdorey… do double-barrelled names count?” I flapped.

“Now Ivor, stop worrying. I know you’re a very excitable dragon, but there’s no need to panic,” said Mr Thickins. “Let’s stop to look at what these factoids really mean.”

“What they really mean?” I echoed.

“Yes – statistics like that make for a good headline and press coverage, but don’t really mean that much. For one, we don’t know the sample size. Unless you’ve got a decent sample of results – at least a thousand or so, then the results are very unlikely to be statistically significant.”

“You mean they’re just a fluke?” I said.

“Let’s put it this way, I won’t be changing my name by deed poll,” said Mr Thickins. “The data comes from claims handled by one particular law firm, over the last two years. You can’t generalise just from one company to the whole nation. But there are some interesting trends.”

“What are those trends?”

“Well, these statistics sound more reasonable – the top 5 riskiest professions are fishermen, farming, oil/gas workers, construction and lorry drivers. I wouldn’t stake much on the research, but these at least seem connected with reality.”

“Anything else?”

“This law firm found that people born in 1989 were statistically the most likely to make a claim, with the next four most common birth years all after 1986,” he read.

“So there’s a trend towards younger claimants, in their early to mid twenties?”

“Exactly,” he said. “One way to look at it is that there’s a growing ‘compensation culture’. Another way of looking at it is the new generation knows their rights and has better access to justice.”

“Which is it?” I asked.

“Probably a bit of both,” he said. “Part of our job is to give good advice to our clients on whether they have a good case, rather than taking on spurious claims.”

“Oh yes, Mr Thickins!” I said. “We don’t want that, but it’s very important that people can have proper redress when they’re genuinely injured.”

Having learned a bit about statistics from Mr Thickins, I went away a wiser dragon. And if you have suffered an injury that wasn’t your fault, whatever your name or age, then please get in touch for a free consultation.