The government’s plan to increase the small claims limit will create a ‘totally uneven playing field’ according to the Chief Executive of APIL (Association of Personal Injury Lawyers), Deborah Evans.
The statement has been released in the aftermath of the changes to the way personal injury claims are dealt with and amid plans from the government to raise the limit from £1,000 to £5,000, which is bound to be a hot topic of discussion at this week’s APIL conference.
Discussing the upcoming proposals for the limit, Evans said: “The government wants to increase the number of road traffic accident cases heard in the small claims court. But this Court is designed for people to represent themselves, rather than have legal assistance.
“This means if someone crashes into your car, injuring you or your family, you will have to go to court with no legal advice and argue against fully qualified lawyers defending the person whose negligence caused the injuries.”
She went on to state how this would create the classic David vs. Goliath situation and ultimately and most worryingly leave the innocent party out of pocket and without the compensation they deserve for their injuries.
Over the past month the changes to the way personal injury cases are represented and funded has changed dramatically which has threatened to pose real stress on accident victim’s access to justice.
The increase to the small claims limit will land a knockout punch to many firms, all for the promise of lower insurance premiums, even though, as Evan’s points out, the insurers have refused to give the government any commitment on how this will happen and more importantly when.
She said: “These changes will create a totally uneven playing field, weighed heavily in favour of big business. People with genuine injuries will struggle to find justice while insurance premiums remain sky high.”
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