I Told You So!

In a previous blog https://www.lblaw.co.uk/blog/new-changes-for-those-injured-in-road-traffic-accidents I wrote about a new system which was being introduced which significantly reduced the compensation that those injured in road traffic accidents would receive. It also altered the rules regarding the recovery of legal costs, such that injured people would recover nothing from the insurers in respect of the cost of legal advice, unless their claim was worth more than £5,000.00. 

The government’s justification for this, was that the new system was designed in a very straightforward way, so that those who were unfortunate enough to be injured would be able to pursue the claim themselves without legal advice. I explained how the guide which advised people how to do this was 64 pages long and fairly complex, and I said that I thought it was completely unrealistic to expect people to deal with such claims on their own.

On 21 October the Ministry of Justice released statistics regarding the claims which were submitted during the first three months of the new system, which are available here. The most striking statistic is that out of the 45,718 claims submitted, 41,387 were done so by legal representatives on behalf of the injured person and only 4,331 (less than 9.5%) were submitted by the injured person themselves. 

This means the system, whose principal objective was said to enable injured people to use it themselves, has failed in this aim. This means that more than 90% of those unfortunate enough to have been injured are now faced with the double insult of receiving less compensation than they would have done previously, and having to make a greater contribution to their legal costs out of this. The only winners in this story, as is often the case when changes to personal injury claims are made, are the insurers.