The government plans to increase the value of so-called “small claims” for personal injury from £1,000 to £5,000. At the Association of British Insurers’ recent annual conference it was suggested that these types of claims should be resolved between insurers and their customers without the input of lawyers. At Jordans we are concerned that without the involvement of lawyers you as Claimants may not receive a fair settlement for your injuries.
At present, any claim for injury is classed as a “small” claim if the compensation does not exceed £1,000. Due to the value of such claims many individuals choose to pursue them, without seeking legal representation, as litigants in person. The government has proposed to increase the financial limit of what is categorised as a small claim to £5,000.
One major concern about individuals pursuing claims without legal representation is that those injured will turn to claims management companies, similar to those currently focused on reclaiming PPI. The worry is that these companies do not have the legal expertise to accurately value a claim which may see claims settled for less than they are worth. Alternatively, they may be valued significantly higher than they are worth, which could open Claimants up to allegations of fundamental dishonesty (see our blog about this topic here).
As a victim of a road traffic accident, it can be important not only to address the end compensation figure but also to deal with any immediate needs. These needs can include rehabilitation needs such as physiotherapy to assist in a quicker recovery time. Claims management companies and insurers may not be in a position to advise you about these options, and indeed may not want to advise you of these options given the costs involved, where independent legal professionals can.
Speaking at the Association of British Insurers annual conference Andy Watson, Chief Executive of Ageas Insurance, said of “small” claims worth up to £5,000 “It’s not beyond the wit of man to work out who caused the accident, what the problem was, who’s at fault, who’s been injured, what the tariff is. It’s all incredibly straightforward.“ Mr Watson’s comments were met with criticism and it was correctly pointed out that for most people £5,000 is not a small claim.
At Jordans Solicitors we understand that if you have been the victim of an accident you deserve to be properly compensated for your injuries, whatever their value. We recommend that if you have been involved in a Road Traffic Accident you seek appropriate legal advice from trained professionals who can accurately value any injuries you have suffered and ensure you receive the correct level of compensation.
Here at Jordans Solicitors we have a specialist personal injury team who are experienced in providing advice to victims of road traffic collisions and other accidents which were not your fault. We will work with you to ensure you receive the compensation you deserve for your injuries and give you peace of mind that your claim is in the right hands. If you would like to speak with a member of our Personal Injury team to find out how we can help you please call 01924 457 171 or request a callback