Personal injury claim reform criticised by Law Society

12 December, 2016

The Law Society has criticised Government plans to increase the small claims limit for personal injuries from £1,000 to £5,000.

According to the Society, the plans, which will prevent offers being made to settle personal injury claims prior to medical evidence being presented, will deny access to justice for ordinary people.

The proposals, which will also introduce a ‘tariff system’ of compensation payments for serious injury claims, will effectively prevent up to five times more people from “getting the legal advice they need in order to bring claims for the compensation they are entitled to in law,” it said.

Robert Bourns, Law Society president, said: “Spinning this proposal as an attack on ‘compensation culture’ and claiming it will reduce premiums is misleading. If you are injured through no fault of your own you should be allowed to claim for that”.

Mr Bourns also suggested that the reform could force people to pursue claims without regulated advice, leading to a “David and Goliath” situation in Court which would likely, in most cases, prove unsuccessful.

Despite these comments, Mr Bourns also added that the Society had full “support for the proposal to prevent claims being settled without medical evidence”.

He said: “This should curtail the practice of some insurers trying to persuade people to settle for less than their claims are worth without evidence of the actual value.”

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