Personal injury solicitors have begun to report that the newly introduced road traffic accident claim scheme is being abused by insurers.
The new process for RTA claims was introduced this past April by the Ministry of Justice with the aim of expediting the process of personal injury claims that valued less than £10,000.
Originally designed with an online web portal for insurers to receive claims data from solicitors, personal injury lawyers have begun to claim that there has been some gaming of the system on the part of insurers.
According to solicitor reports, insurers have been issuing instructions to their own panel solicitor firms to submit personal injury claims through the online facility for victims that may not even be represented by them.
This action on the insurers’ part effectively bars the personal injury solicitor that the victim has retained from logging the claim properly. The end result is that the victim will be unable to receive any sort of impartial representation from any personal injury compensation claims they make.
A spokesman for the Association of British Insurers responded to the allegations by stating that the association had no knowledge of any insurers engaging in the questionable practice of locking out the victim’s rightful legal representation.
Industry experts agree that the age-old adage of insurers wanting to pay out less than they take in seems to be holding water if it is indeed true insurers have been abusing the RTA online system. Panel solicitors who are affiliated with a particular insurer will routinely ask for smaller payouts than an unaffiliated solicitor firm, which results in less loss for the insurer.
Many legal experts have also questioned whether the activity on the panel solicitors’ part does not represent a distinct conflict of interest, as well, which could turn out very poorly for any panel solicitor caught engaging in such activity.