Government backing new anti-ambulance chaser adverts

The Government has recently indicated it will be providing backing for curbing overly aggressive adverts for “ambulance chaser” personal injury solicitor firms in addition to instituting prosecution protection for so-called “good Samaritans.”

Heeding cautionary remarks from a former Tory minister, the government is set to act on his warnings that the so-called compensation culture of the UK in regards to personal injury claims has reached critical proportions.

In a study recently commissioned by David Cameron, it found that members of the public are routinely faced with encouragement by unscrupulous injury solicitors to pursue cases that may be frivolous in nature, leaving people that may be more well-meaning with deterrents to organising any voluntary activities on their part.

Former Thatcher era trade secretary Lord Young of Graffham details in his report the misleading techniques law firms employ in their adverts that boast lawsuits with a “no win, no fee” stipulation.

Worth almost £300 million annually, the claims management industry spends approximately £40 million every year on advertising across the nearly 1,500 accident solicitor firms in the UK.

Many accident sufferers are often enticed by promises of instantly receiving a cheque once a firm accepts their claim, a practise that Lord Young insists that applies pressure to bring an inordinate number of claims.

Solicitors then routinely buy the cases from claims management companies, which offer fees of sometimes up to £800.

Lord Young commented that claims will often go to the solicitor who can afford to pay the most to the management company, rather than the firm that has the most suitability for the client.  Lord Young also said that it was not uncommon for the client to end up being located far away from their new solicitor firm as a result.

The report, which is slated for publication later in October, has recommendations to add new controls on the contents and volume of “no win, no fee” adverts, cautioning that the restrictions currently in place are simply not stringent enough to deter unscrupulous behaviour.

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