Last week at the Claims Magazine’s Conference in Manchester, Head of Motor and Liability at the Association of British Insurers (ABI), James Dalton, suggested that personal injury lawyers were ‘pretending that the English legal system would collapse’. This is far from the case as the new ‘Save the Legal Industry’ campaign revealed that already 2,500 jobs had perished as firms prepare for the reforms on the 1st of April.
The campaign was launched last Tuesday in a last ditch attempt to make the government see sense over the proposals to increase the small claims limit which if implemented, is predicted to cost the jobs of tens of thousands of support staff, secretaries and admin staff.
What will these mean for genuine accident victims moving into the future? Well if the victim’s injury is valued at less than this amount, which most small claims do, then they will no longer be able to recover the legal costs from their opponents, meaning for their claim to be economically effective they would have to take on the claim themselves.
Of course insurance companies will manipulate this situation with substantially lower payout offers and in the event that the claimant does decide to take their claim to the courts on their own, they will come up against the opponent’s insurance company and their highly trained lawyers, and will almost certainly end up leaving without compensation and out of pocket.
In layman’s terms, the genuine accident victim, who may need compensation to cover loss of earnings and treatment costs, will no longer have the access to justice that by right they deserve and would have received, had they been able to afford legal representation.
The ‘Save the Legal Industry’ campaign really needs your help and you can do so by signing their petition. At some point in your life you may be a victim of an accident that wasn’t your fault that leaves you out of work, or needing rehabilitation. In that instance, think whether or not you would like the opportunity to get the compensation you deserve to help you in your time of need.