Many of you will have seen from the press and TV coverage that the law relating to Personal Injury claims will change from 1st April 2013.
The changes are huge and will have an enormous effect on you, the innocent victim of an accident. The time for protesting about the changes and campaigning about the injustice of the changes on people who have been injured through no fault of their own has long since gone. The changes ARE coming in and they will take effect in less than 3 weeks time.
I have noticed that there is a lot of confusion as to what the changes will mean to you so it may be useful for me to give a guide on the ones that will effect you most.
Firstly the legal fees that are recoverable in claims for injuries arising from road traffic accidents are about to be cut dramatically meaning that it will be impossible for solictors to carry out the work on your case WITHOUT a contribution from the damages (up to 25%) you are awarded to cover the cost of the work necessary on your case. My best advice is that if you have had a road traffic accident and have not yet made a claim then do so NOW before the 1st April because after that date the amount the will actually receive for your injuries and losses will be reduced as you have to make a contribution to the cost of pursuing the claim. And if you have a road traffic accident AFTER 1st April be cautious about who you instruct to deal with your case for you – do not shop around for the “cheapest deal” because in all likelihood what you will get is a cheap service. After 1st April it will be more important than ever that you instruct a good solicitor who will still do the right job for you and not cut corners because the fees recoverable are reduced.
There is some good news in that the damages you can claim will be increased by 10% which goes some way to meeting the cost of the contribution you will have to pay but wont of course cover all of it.
Similar rules are due to come in for accidents at work and acidents on the public highway (trips and slips) in July so again my message is that if you have already had an accident contact a solicitor before July to make sure that your claim is made before the changes in the law affect you.
But remember this… Even after 1st April accidents will still happen; You will still have the right to claim if you have been injured and suffered a loss and you will still have the right to instruct a solicitor to pursue your claim for you. The fact that that you may have to make a contribution to the cost should not discourage you from bringing your claim but it SHOULD encourage you to make sure you get the best legal advice and support you can. This is one of those occasions when the level of service you receive is far more important that the cost to you.
Here at Ibbotson Brady we plan to carry on as we have always done – offering the same personal service to you that we have built our reputation on and providing the high quality of service we believe you are entitled to receive.
Until next time