As head of Express Solicitors’s Road Traffic Accident (RTA) department, I read with interest a story in the Telegraph last weekend concerning a tribunal into alleged industry malpractice. The story was centred around claims that a midlands-based Personal Injury Law firm was pressuring medical experts to exaggerate injury reports after examining their clients.
The article reports the testimony of a former employee at the firm, who claims she was forced out of her job after objecting to the company’s practices. It also contains comments from a doctor who said that he felt pressurised by the firm into altering prognoses for the firm’s injured clients. The firm in question denies any wrongdoing, and the tribunal continues.
I’d just like to point out, if I may, that this story concerns the actions of just one independent firm. The Telegraph’s headline “lawyers ‘told doctors to exaggerate crash injuries'” is ambiguous, and suggests that this sort of behaviour is going on industry-wide.
In my experience this simply isn’t the case, and there are civil procedures rules in place to ensure that doctors cannot be too biased in favour of the claimant and their lawyers. For example, we are required to send insurance companies a choice of three medical experts, and the insurers are free to rule out any doctor who they feel may be too partisan in favour of our client.
Despite the UK having some of the safest roads in the world, there are still a large number of serious injuries caused by RTAs. And the devastation that is caused by these is impossible to exaggerate. It’s a shame that one firm’s unscrupulous behaviour has cast a shadow over the vast majority of honest, hard-working lawyers and the great work they do for accident victims, when we take enough of a kicking already from the insurance industry’s powerful propaganda machine.
Express Solicitors is regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority and accredited by the Law Society as a specialist Personal Injury practice. We are also recognised by Lexcel, the established quality mark awarded by the Law Society to law firms that meet the Law Society’s Practice Management Standards.