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Controversial restrictions on advice for RTA victims

04.03.2013

As a result of Friday’s judgement in the Administrative Court, many people injured in road traffic accidents may no longer be able to obtain independent legal representation to claim compensation for the injuries they’ve sustained.

High court action was brought by the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL) and Motor Accident Solicitors Society (MASS) to overturn the government’s decision to slash the amount payable to personal injury lawyers in low value personal injury claims for road traffic accidents (RTAs).

The government has defended the action, claiming that it will cut speculative and fraudulent claims for personal injury compensation.
 

What are the implications of this action?

From the end of April, any RTA victim with a low value claim may be forced to settle directly with the defendant’s insurer as many personal injury lawyers will find their case uneconomic to pursue.

However the defendant’s insurer is less likely to admit liability when the claimant is unrepresented and there are concerns that this will lead to settlements being awarded that are only a fraction of what would’ve been secured should the claimant have had professional legal representation.

Inevitably any such negotiations for compensation are likely to be heavily weighted in favour of the insurer and not in the best interests of the claimant.

The view that the vast majority of people injured in RTAs have no knowledge of what their injuries are worth in terms of damages is supported by the findings of an independent study.

This found that 70% of victims don’t know what level of compensation is appropriate for a whiplash injury and, as such, there is some concern that damages awarded will not truly reflect the injuries sustained.
 

What if you have a claim?

If you’ve had a car or road traffic accident and would like more information about making a compensation claim for your injuries, contact us on 0117 325 2929. A member of our team will ascertain whether compensation is recoverable and talk to you about your options.

If you’d like to speak to someone in person, we hold free personal injury clinics every week at the following locations:

Tuesdays – 10am to 4pm at our Community Law shop
Thursdays – 1pm to 4pm at our Bedminster office

Alternatively complete our online contact form and a member of our personal injury team in Bristol will get in touch.

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