It is pretty easy to see why the general public is not very sympathetic to the plight of solicitors. That is especially true in the case of those who advice you on personal injury claims and accident benefits.
With the latest ‘whiplash claims’ controversy that has been highlighted in the British media, it seems that they are being constantly cast in an unfairly poor light.
There are plenty of surprising facts that actually come forward when you look at the issue from a neutral standpoint. Though one thing we can be certain of is that the truth, like in all things, lies somewhere in the middle.
Statistics by top insurance firms in Europe state that over 800,000 whiplash claims were made in the UK in 2012 alone. This obviously has given the nation its moniker of being the ‘whiplash capital of Europe’. Growing concerns from the auto industry and the big insurance firms has seen a full blown enquiry and proposed changes in the case of whiplash claims cases. Yet, it might be the personal injury law firms that will be most affected by the proposed new laws and that could spell trouble for future claimants too.
While law firms and personal injury solicitors have been viewed as ‘ambulance chasers’ and loud advertisers’, one must remember that fraudulent claims simply cannot be made without the complete assistance of the so called ‘victims’.
To view only one of the parties as the culprit seems far from being just. Add to it policies doled out by insurance firms with loads of fine print and there really is no ‘moral high ground’ that any of the parties can claim. But with altered laws for whiplash claims, it will be the claimants that will suffer the most.
Genuine claims in case of serious medical injuries could take far more time to resolve and claimants will find it increasingly harder to file these claims with ease. The personal injury line of work no doubt will face serious threat as a ‘referral fee’ cannot be paid to them legally by law firms according to the proposed changes. Topping it off will be the possibility of reduced pay for claimants who win their cases as the insurance firms will now need to pay for their lawyers as well.
Current laws allow personal injury specialists and advisors to offer attractive deals to claimants. For instance, whiplash injury compensation from Mayiclaim currently comes with a promise of ‘no win, no fee service’. With the new laws, this might not exactly be possible and hence law firms are advising citizens of UK who wish to file for a claim under current laws to do so before April 1st.
The big question that remains is if insurance companies will pass on the new found profits to consumers and ensure that policies are cheaper. If that does not happen, then the whole thing will just lead to top insurance firms netting bigger profits.