APIL was responding to the green paper proposals laid down by the Justice Secretary earlier this week. The Association claims that the people who will be hit hardest by the proposals, are the weakest.
Muiris Lyons, the president of APIL, said that the no win, no fee system provides access to justice for personal injury sufferers who could not otherwise afford to make a claim. The new proposal goes in favour of the negligent party and his insurer, who will have charged a premium to cover costs. The interests of negligent defendants and insurance companies should not be put before those of injured people, he continued.
Lyons also condemned the move to deduct legal fees from no win, no fee personal injury compensation payouts saying that damages are currently too low because they have not increased in line with recommendations from the Law Commission. He also pointed out that the proposed increase would not always be sufficient to cover the legal costs leaving the injured person with a shortfall in his compensation payout.
The people who will be hardest hit by these new recommendations are those with serious injuries where claim awards are extremely high, he concluded.
The Association of Personal Injury Lawyers is a not for profit organisation that represents 4,700 barristers, legal executives and solicitors.