7 March 2013
The Government has decided to slash the fees lawyers can recover for dealing with Road Traffic Accident claims on behalf of injured victims. The changes, which come into force on 1st April 2013, will see lawyers’ costs cut from £1,200 per claim to £500 per claim.
How will this affect you, the accident victim?
The new £500 fee cap is likely to mean that lawyers would lose money when representing victims of road traffic accidents in the future. As a result, many firms will no longer act for victims of road traffic accidents as it will simply be unviable for them to do so. Therefore, the fee cuts will make it increasingly difficult for accident victims to find a reputable, qualified solicitor to help them with their case.
Accident victims are likely to be forced to resort to negotiating with insurers and their lawyers directly, without proper legal advice. Since most accident victims would have no idea of the value of their claim, there is every possibility that they will end up short-changed by the insurance companies and they may not receive the compensation that they deserve.
Last week, the High Court rejected a challenge to the fee cuts made by the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL) and the Motor Accident Solicitor’s Society (MASS). APIL responded to the High Court’s decision saying, “This is a dark day for people who are injured through no fault of their own”.
What should you do?
In light of the impending changes, we would urge any victims of accidents, road traffic or otherwise, who intend to bring a claim for personal injury, to seek legal advice now before the changes come into force.
Advance Legal is a strong, experienced personal injury department and we are able to offer ‘no win, no fee’ agreements to our clients.
Bronwen Roberts is a Trainee Solicitor at Advance Legal. Contact Bronwen on 01332 614 511 or another member of the Personal Injury team and they will be happy to discuss your compensation claim with you.