How much harder will it be to make a compensation claim after April 2013?
In April 2013, rules for the legal aid and personal injury compensation claim procedures change in the United Kingdom, when the new Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Bill, Part 2, comes into force.
Critics say that the change which requires claimants to pay a 25% “success fee” out of their own damages, effectively transfers costs back to the injured party, which in fact the defendant traditionally paid. The change, coming in tandem with significant reductions in the legal aid system, delivers a double whammy to an injured person whose life has been inconvenienced or even devastated by an accident that was not their fault and who is entitled to make a compensation claim.
There is concern also that unintended consequences, such as an increased cost burden on the NHS and other instruments of state and social provision, when these swingeing cuts to legal aid are applied, will cause a whole swathe of knock-on demands to the public purse.
Critics further say that poorer claimants, attempting to pursue lower value awards of a few thousand pounds, may find themselves denied justice altogether, as legal firms crunch the numbers and find the cost of representation uneconomic.
What can an injury victim do if he wants to pursue his compensation claim?
The claimant will find it more important than ever to do the sums before he starts his claim. He will need to be meticulous in acting promptly and gathering evidence to support his claim. Compensation providers such as Accident Advice Helpline will be able to help with advice on the eligibility of a claim and an assessment of its possible value. However, winning is never guaranteed and there will inevitably be a period of adjustment when the industry and the legal system become acquainted with the new rules.
Accident Advice Helpline can provide instant online advice through its 30-second eligibility test and then an assessment of what your claim could be worth. Take the test and start your claim today.
Date Published: March 12, 2013
Author: David Brown