Insurance companies must fight back against the claims culture, law firm Hill Dickinson has warned.

Hill Dickinson solicitor Marise Gellert, who specialises in employers' and public liability law, said too many insurance companies did not defend claims against them.

"A court battle can be a lengthy, time-consuming and costly procedure," she said.

"However, insurance companies need to make a stand against claimants to ensure that insurance costs don't spiral out of control due to larger and increasingly numerous claims."

As an example, Gellert said she recent defended an insurer against a case brought by the parents of a schoolboy who caught his finger in the hinge of a closing door outside his classroom.

She said the 12 year-old leant against the door, which had an automatic closer, while being disciplined by a teacher and put his hand on the door frame.

When the door closed, it caught his hand, causing the amputation of half a centimetre off the tip of his finger.

However, the judge held that it was not necessary to give staff and pupils basic training on "the dangers of hinge jamb entrapment and how to avoid it", Gellert said.

The claim was dismissed.

"Schools are expected to do what's reasonable at the time to see that visitors are reasonably sane, to reasonably assure the health, safety and welfare of the children and to be prepared for children who are less careful than adults," she said.