Claimants in personal injury compensation cases will be receiving a 10 per cent bump in the maximum amount of damages they will be entitled to upon a successful injury claim starting in April of 2013 – but will it be enough to pay for their own lawyers’ legal fees?
The no win no fee accident claim sector is set for a minor upheaval starting next April when the new Legal Aid Act goes into effect, stripping personal injury solicitors’ ability to recover success fees from losing defendants. Instead, claimants are going to be responsible for paying their lawyers’ fees from their winnings.
Judges have said that compensation payments made to claimants after April 2013 will be increased by 10 per cent in order to provide more cash for paying these costs. Lawyers will also be unable to collect ‘success fees’ from their own clients to such an extent as they do now, but the word on the street is that lawyers are unhappy with the arrangement.
There’s a thuggish undercurrent running through the personal injury claim legal profession at the moment, with many legal experts claiming that the new laws will make it ‘less cost-effective’ to bring claims for relatively low-paying cases. Some have outright said that there will be many firms that will decline to take case where their profit margins will not be high enough, leading to many Brits losing access to justice.
This could develop into a serious problem next year, as law firms pass on smaller, less lucrative compensation cases and simply seek out the multi-million pound payout cases in order to reap the best rewards. Injured Brits with smaller compensation prospects can only hope that there will still be law firms out there that are more motivated by helping people than their own bottom lines.