23rd July 2015

In the past some firms of Solicitors appeared so desperate for personal injury clients that they offered people incentives to come to them with their personal injury claim.  The incentives included free Ipads, and cash inducements/advances.  Many people stated they never actually received the promised benefits despite using such a firm for their claim.  Thankfully very few firms in the North East made such offers to their clients and I can proudly state my firm has never offered inducements to clients nor paid other organisations to refer us work.

Sadly people with genuine claims who had for example been injured at work or in Road Traffic Accidents which were not their fault were tarnished by the more dubious claims such incentives were thought to attract.  The practice fuelled the media’s obsession with “compensation culture” damaging people bringing honest claims – it is easy to be distracted by the media’s obsession with whiplash cases and forget about people innocently injured for example on building sites due to scaffolding not being properly erected or guards missing from machines in factories causing a worker serious injury.

The fees Solicitors receive for personal injury work have been slashed in recent times meaning much of this unsavoury practice fortunately ended.  Some firms however continued in desperate attempts to attract work.  This resulted in the Government introducing the Criminal Justice and Courts Act in 2015.  On 13 April 2015 Sections 58-61 of the Act came into force banning Solicitors from offering a benefit as an inducement to make a personal injury claim.  This should hopefully end the practice of personal injury inducements completely.

If you are unfortunate enough to be injured as a result of the fault of another person the Law Society’s advice is that you instruct a member of the Law Society Personal Injury Panel.  Such a person is an expert in this area of work and will ensure you receive the compensation you deserve.  The relevant logo is often displayed on the firm’s website.  There are many good quality firms with such expert Solicitors in the North East.  My advice is to choose a firm with a good reputation who spend the fees generated employing well trained good quality Solicitors who will seek the full compensation you are entitled to and assist in obtaining funds for any necessary rehabilitation.  The most important issue is you recover from your injury as quickly as possible; thereafter you should ensure your losses are compensated in full.

Blog by Richard Hardy, Partner and Head of Police Misconduct