Personal injury news roundup: 7 days ended 22 Oct 2013:
Detractors of the personal injury lawyer community love to claim injury lawyers are the root of all evil, but it looks like these firebrands are just wrong.
Now far be it for me to go around saying ‘I told you so,’ but let’s be honest here: the news this week has been filled with evidence that blaming injury lawyers on the so-called ‘compensation culture’ has been absolute rubbish. Don’t believe me? Well look at how useless new regulatory reform has been, according to recent research that revealed a nearly 4 per cent jump in the number of car accident claims made so far in 2013 when compared to last year’s figures.
Just eight months in to 2013 and there’s already been more than 567,000 claims made for damages less than £25,000. This is despite the fact that there have been a spate of new reforms that went into effect supposedly to kerb the ‘ambulance chasing’ behaviour of personal injury solicitors by limiting the legal fees lawyers can claim off clients.
And if you think it’s just the car insurance industry that’s been sent reeling by these revelations, guess again: other types of injury claims activity has remained just as robust. Look at how much Suffolk County Council has had to pay out over the past three years for example, despite the fact that it’s been a good year and a half since these reforms went into effect: more than £1.4 milion!
There have been in excess of 400 payouts made by the local authority alone since the beginning of 2010. However, the most amazing figure isn’t this one but the fact that those 400 claims only represent some 22 per cent of total claims handled by the county council: a full 78 per cent of the claims made against the council never even saw the light of day!
So you tell me: are all these legal reforms actually doing anything to control the costs incurred by the taxpayer or the car insurance policyholder? I’m going to venture out on a limb here and say apparently not. It looks like the problem weren’t legal fees after all – I hope all those reformers and campaigners enjoy having a bit of egg on their face now that they’ve been proven completely and utterly wrong!