Government changes in April 2013 will affect personal injury compensation awards
Should you claim now before the government denies you "access to justice"?
You may have heard or read about plans which are being introduced from April 2013
which will effectively deny people who have been involved in accidents and suffered injuries
their right to compensation in full.
At the present time you are be able to pursue a personal injury claim under a "No Win No Fee" Agreement
and recover 100% of your compensation
After April 2013 it is likely that even if you find a Solicitor to pursue your claim they will require you to sign an Agreement which will enable them to take up to 25% of your damages
(compensation award) in part payment of their Legal Fees.
The Government are introducing Legislation to prevent claims being conducted under "No Win No Fee" Agreements backed by Insurance Policies paid for by Defendants (those responsible for your injuries).
Having taken away legal aid to help people make claims for personal injuries and introduced "No Win No Fee" Agreements the insurance industry has persuaded the Government that this has increased the number of claims
and that too many bogus claims are now being pursued. The legal profession is, however, of the impression that both of these statements are untrue.
The Government are, under pressure from the Insurance Industry, therefore introducing laws which are likely to prevent people who are involved in accidents obtaining full compensation
for their injuries by preventing legal advisers recovering insurance premiums or success fees and limiting any recoverable fees from those responsible and therefore looking to Lawyers to make deductions from any compensation payments obtained.
"A" was injured whilst at work
due to the fault of his employer and his injuries were valued at £4,000. He made a successful claim on a "No Win No Fee" basis supported by an insurance policy and recovered £4,000. His solicitor recovered the insurance premium
, a success fee for taking the claim on and Legal fees from the Employer. "A" received the full £4000.
After April 2013
In the same circumstances "A" would still be awarded £4,000, but because of a change in the Law, his solicitor would not recover the full legal fees and therefore deduct up to 25%
from "A's" compensation award. "A" would therefore only received £3,000.
If you are in the position whereby you have been injured in a non-fault accident
it may be wise to consider whether waiting to put in a claim (in most cases a 3 year time limit applies from the date of the accident) is in your best interests.