We are told that motor insurance premiums are at an all time high because of small value personal injury claims and an increase in fraud. Inevitably the press blame the legal profession and politicians jump on the bandwagon and blame lawyers using CFAs, a means of access to justice which they suddenly forget was introduced by them. What they also conveniently forget is that lawyers have duties to clients; we can’t just tell them not to recover what the law entitles them; we will be NEGLIGENT if we give them wrong advice. You can’t blame lawyers for applying the law – it is our duty to do so.
The result? The Jackson proposals.
It is my view that these proposals will restrict genuine claimants’ access to justice, either because they will not be able to litigate at all or by forcing them to pay over some of their award to pay for their representation.
Is there another way?
Well, how about this? If your personal injury claim (not bent metal – insurers can still cover this) does not exceed, say, £10,000 (not a life changing sum, though I accept significant to all but the very rich) you have no claim at all, i.e. you get nothing, diddly squat, sweet fanny adams. This should cover the vast majority of cases that insurers are paying out on and which we are told is the cause of our high premiums.
Now, I know that this will go down like the proverbial cup of the cold stuff with many in the profession. But isn’t it time that people got on with their lives rather than moan about a minor whiplash?
The quid pro quo from the insurance companies would have to be a dramatic reduction in premiums (reverse distributive justice – eat your heart out HL) and no change to CFAs thereby allowing seriously injured claimants access to justice without stealing from their compensation to get what is rightfully theirs.
Any comments? Article 6? Discrimination?