Remembering The Essence Of Personal Injury

by IgnitionPG on March 7, 2013

Personal injury has been dealt plenty of blows over the last decade or so. Its reputation has been tarnished by the widely perpetuated idea of the ‘compensation culture’ which vilifies claimants are fraudulent and legal professionals as “ambulance chasers”. And yet, for all the outcry about the compensation Claim’s management companies who tarnish the reputation of honest legal professionals have left almost entirely unregulated ’til recently. With news of the Government’s plans to raise the threshold of the small claims court, a lot of legal professionals in the personal injury sector will be under threat. It seems timely then to remember why we enshrine a claimant’s right to compensation in law. Why is personal injury law of value in society?

The background and origins

The basis for a personal injury claim is law which can be classified as tort law. Tort is there to protect us from harming each other when we’re in a privileged position. So, for example, a local council has a duty to maintain pavements properly in part because neglecting to do this could result in a local citizen falling over and injuring themselves. Tort distinguishes between two general classes of duties: to not injure ‘full stop’ and to not injure negligently, recklessly, or intentionally. The majority of personal injury claimants injured at work will have a case against an employer because the employer has caused injury through negligence.

Personal injury law is set in place to protect us when we’re injured through no fault of our own and its real life benefits can have a huge impact on a person’s life. Many people who suffer personal injury have to take time off work and some can’t work for the rest of their lives. They often all need care which can’t be provided by the NHS so costs and in many cases family members have to become carers which means another income is lost. Personal injury compensation ensures that those made vulnerable by personal injury are not left without any support or help. The law complies with a basic theory of a welfare state where we abide by the concept that we are all responsible for the most vulnerable members of society.

The introduction of ‘no win, no fee’

In 1999 the Access to Justice Act was published which came into force in April 2000. Previous to this individuals could make personal injury claims but they would have to meet legal fees incurred, or, if they couldn’t afford it the Government would pay the fees. Under ‘no win, no fee’ or the Conditional Fee Agreement as it’s official known fees are paid by the losing party; meaning in most circumstances the Claimant keeps all his compensation. The act was designed to encourage those who might be reluctant to come forward b because of their financial situation more willing to claim. Its original aim was to widen access to justice, but unfortunately it spawned a rise in CMCs who have arguably contributed to the negative reputation of the personal injury sector.

Remembering why personal injury claims exist in the first place is essential if we want to combat blights on the industry. The essence of personal injury is honourable and has the intention of helping those who have suffered.




Latest posts by IgnitionPG (see all)

Previous post:

Next post: