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Government desecrates personal injury sector

25th November 2015

Personal injury lawyers have expressed dismay at the Government’s decision to increase the small claims track limit from £1,000 to £5,000. In practice it means that only accident victims with injury claims worth more than £5,000 will be able to consult solicitors and have those fees paid by the defendant’s insurer. This probably accounts for 75% of all injury claims resulting from road accidents.

George Ide personal injury partner, Paul Lewis, said in response to the Autumn Statement “This will leave accident victims even more vulnerable as in future they will have to stand alone against the giants of the insurance industry.

The Government has said that removing lawyers from the system will save the average motorist around £1 per week on their car insurance premiums, but I am not convinced that this low-level saving can compensate for the widespread loss of victims’ access to help and advice if they need to make a non-fault injury claim in court”, Paul added.

Of course we at George Ide accept, as most lawyers do, that there is a fraudulent minority of claimants involved in personal injury claims but we would urge Government not to throw the baby out with the bathwater in this way.

Insurers have shown time and again that they cannot always be trusted to deal fairly with injured claimants – our concern is that, without the current safety-net of legal advice, this problem will only increase to cause further stress and suffering for genuine victims of non-fault accidents that.

In a separate announcement Chancellor George Osborne said that the Government will consult with a view to outlawing all compensation claims for low value injuries. This would be the first time in English legal history that there will be a non-actionable injury; that is to say no right of legal redress for injured accident victims.

There are dark days ahead for all, save perhaps for insurance company shareholders

Paul Lewis. Partner and Head of accident management

George Ide
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