Do local authorities need better personal injury lawyers?

Personal injury news roundup: 7 days ended 17 June 2014:

Is it just me, or are the personal injury solicitors that work for local authorities absolutely rubbish when it comes to defending against accident claims?

Whatever the reasoning, it seems that local councils have been paying through the nose over the last few years on every single personal injury compensation claim that gets made against them. New reports this week revealed that over the past five years alone, Lincolnshire County Council shelled out something like 330,000 pounds – and Sheffield Council paid out an eye-watering 16 million pounds over the same period of time!

Now I’m not going to say anything absolutely stupid like ‘there’s obviously a compensation culture afoot in the UK’ or that ‘councilors are obviously pillocks and need to all be sacked immediately,’ but there’s something fishy here. I have my own personal pet theory when it comes to this – and I think it’s the insurers of these local authorities that are to blame.

I know it sounds mad but hear me out: local councils often contract work out to the lowest bidder in order to stay under budget when it comes to things like infrastructure improvements and things of that nature, so it stands to reason that when it comes to liability insurance and the like they go with the firm that’s offering them the lowest and most affordable premium prices. The problem is that with those cut-rate policies there’s little to no quality legal protection so when there is an accident claim made against the council, the insurer’s team is little more than a collection of chimpanzees banging away on a dozen typewriters, mashing their little paws against the keys in an droll but essentially useless manner. In other words, these accident claims are set up to fail constantly, leading to payouts left and right for both legitimately injured residents and employees and those that may be playing a bit fast and loose with whether or not they’re actually suffering from that slip and trip.

Ultimately of course the big losers here are all of us, as the British taxpayer funds these local authorities. Our hard-earned cash goes funnelling out of council coffers and right into the pockets of the injured. I don’t know about you but I’d rather put that money more towards a better legal team so we can save some of that money in the long run!

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