Unicorns, dragons, and compensation culture – none exists

Personal injury news roundup: 7 days ended 10 June 2014:

While more and more evidence comes to light showing there’s no such thing as compensation culture, policymakers continue to pass pointless laws.

If you’re involved in the personal injury compensation industry, you can’t swing a cat without hitting some pundit or talking head nattering on about how compensation culture is ruining this country. Personal injury lawyers supposedly convince people to make spurious accident claims in order to line their pockets with legal fees, the conventional wisdom goes, and the poor defenceless insurance companies that are named as defendants in these cases are sucked dry, forcing them to raise their rates to stay afloat. It’s a clever story, even if it’s bollocks, and policymakers fall over one another to combat the scourge of compensation culture.

This week the newest attack against those dastardly ambulance chasing lawyers consists of new laws that will ban law firms from enticing would-be claimants with up-front incentives for bringing a claim with them. Now, some fly-by-night law firms certainly do like to sweeten the deal by providing cash up front, vouchers, or even expensive electronics as a thinly-veiled ‘thank you’ to some claimants for bringing a claim but the practise isn’t that widespread by a long shot – but the Justice Secretary insists that it’s contributing to higher fraud instances, God bless his empty little head.

Meanwhile – and hold on to your hats, ladies and gentlemen – research says that fraud is hardly a problem at all in the legal field. In fact the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers says that the contribution when it comes to scammers and fraudsters is something like seven per cent when it comes to whiplash claims. In other words there’s not much in the way of spurious claims being brought; instead it’s just the nation’s insurance companies looking for excuses to raise our rates. Using personal injury lawyers as scapegoats is nothing new; the only startling thing is that so many people fall for it even in this current day and age. Some people are just altogether too credulous if you ask me.

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