As many of you may already know, in April 2013 the government is proposing new legislation that will deny injured people involved in accidents the right to their full amount of compensation.
Currently many individuals who have been injured pursue a ‘No Win No Fee’ agreement and are able to keep 100% of their compensation. However, when the legislation gets changed in April 2013 it will mean that an injured person will have to sign a contract enabling their solicitor to take up to 25% of their won compensation to cover the legal fees.
At the moment it is the defendants who pay the legal fees if a case is won, however, once the legislation changes, the injured person will be held liable for a significant percentage of them.
Express’ Managing Partner, James Maxey comments: “I am extremely disappointed that the government is forging ahead with this new legislation without even considering the view from law firms representing injured claimants. I established the personal injury law firm, Express Solicitors, 12 years ago and since we opened I have not once paid referral fees. My firm has a strong commitment to helping anyone with a personal injury when they themselves are not to blame.
I believe individuals with injuries should receive the compensation that they rightly deserve and it would be unjust for us to have to take some of that away to cover our fees. We deal with many individuals who have life-changing injuries and will require long term care. How can the government expect us to turn to such people at the end of a case and demand a percentage of their compensation in order to cover our fees?
My firm employs 130 people and has created 50 jobs in the past 12 months. We work hard to secure compensation for injured individuals and believe they should be entitled to keep all of it. Nevertheless, it would be impossible to survive as a firm if we were not to recover any legal fees and it can be pointed that this legislation is bound to put smaller personal injury firms out of business. This could have a detrimental impact on the economy and put many people out of work.”
Another part to the new legislation would see a reduction in the amount of health and safety laws governing the workplace. This would significantly reduce the amount of employer’s liability claims since employers would no longer have strict liability for the health and safety of their workers. James Maxey states: “Frankly, my view is that this is the saddest day since I have been involved in personal injury from the start of my career. I believe that the insurance industry should stop pressurising the government with regards to this legislation and instead pay out to people who have been injured through absolutely no fault of their own.”
James Maxey’s letter to Chris Grayling attached below:
Letter to Rt Hon Chris Grayling MP 10.12.12
For more information on the proposeed law changes please visit the APIL website.
The December 2012 issue of ‘PI Focus’ has an interesting article about the proposed changes written by Karl Tonks.