New laws which came into effect on 1st April 2013 mean some big changes for personal injury claims and for the recovery of associated costs.
With regular news reports and updates in the media, it can be quite mind-boggling to understand these changes and what effect they will have on current and future claims.
Under the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act (LAPSO), a solicitor can now charge a client a success fee — a percentage-based risk fee (up to a maximum of 25%) that can be charged in addition to the basic costs incurred by the solicitor throughout the case.
The Act has also brought in a ban on referral fees by regulated persons in personal injury matters. Essentially this means that those claims management companies who refer personal injury work to solicitors for a fee will be banned from doing so. This is in order to cut down on the number of ‘unlikely to succeed’ claims that were passed on to solicitors for a fee. It is envisaged that this will eventually lead to a decline in the number of personal injury claims being made each year.
So, where does that leave you? The fact of the matter is that, if you are injured as a result of an accident that was not your fault, you are still able to make enquires as to whether you have a claim. The current reforms are the result of a political will to save costs in personal injury claims. While they will be somewhat challenging over the upcoming months, we do hope that these reforms will not restrict anyone in obtaining justice.
Please contact our Personal Injury team for further advice at: firstname.lastname@example.org