Ellis Jones supports the possible ban on inducements to make personal injury claims
The Government is concerned that some law firms are offering inducements to claimants in order to encourage them to make personal injury claims. iPads, mobile phones and cash sums have been offered by some firms. The Government is therefore looking to ban these inducements. We would support such a ban.
Since the new fixed costs for the majority of claims below £25,000 came into force at the end of July 2013 and the reduced fees in road traffic accident claims, it has put greater pressure on Personal Injury firms. Many firms look to deal with high volumes of claims and settle them as quickly as possible in order to get paid. Inducements are one method of attracting new clients.
In our experience, many of these firms doing high volume work often results in the injured client under settling their claim for damages. This is because their injuries are not looked at in detail and medical reports obtained too quickly after the accident.
We have dealt with many claims in which we have taken over conduct from one of these high volume firms and have seen numerous examples where the client had been advised to settle the claim, but they have then spoken to us and we have been able to recover significantly higher damages. One example was a motorcyclist that was knocked off his bike by a car sustaining multiple fractures. His solicitors had advised him to accept an offer of £13,000. They then spoke to us and after obtaining more detailed medical evidence and looking at his claim for loss of earnings in more details, we recovered £50,000 for him.
An injured claimant should not be choosing their lawyer on the basis of an inducement. They should use a specialist personal injury lawyer to deal with their claim. We do not offer inducements. We rely on our specialist team to deal with injured claimants in a sensitive and professional manner. We have a network of local and national rehabilitation providers and can often get the client free physiotherapy or chiropractic treatment at an early stage to help them recover from their injuries. We can then get on with progressing the claim and get the damages that they are legally entitled to under a No Win, No fee agreement.