The perception that the majority of Personal Injury Lawyers are ambulance chasers could be dispelled somewhat by the findings of a new study.
That is the opinion of Trevor Sterling, a Principal Lawyer (Partner) here at RJW Slater & Gordon, who believes the widely-held belief that such professionals in the legal sector are immoral is proved false by recent research.
What did the study find?
Recently, we commissioned Ipsos Mori to conduct a survey of people who had taken legal action in order to seek compensation after an Accident had left them injured.
Prior to this study taking place, the Association of British Insurers had claimed that car insurance premiums are being pushed up continually in the UK due to the growing number of Personal Injury Claims being lodged.
However, after questioning 900 individuals who had decided to sue for their ordeal, Ipsos Mori concluded that, in actual fact, some 65 per cent of these claimants were initially contacted by an insurance firm regarding the possibility of seeking damages.
This, we believe, offers a credible challenge to the assumption that Solicitors and Claims Management Companies are to blame for the seemingly never-ending trend of premiums on vehicle insurance packages constantly rising.
Indeed, this misconception has resulted in many people who decide to pursue compensation following accidents on the road, at work or in public places - some of whom have suffered Serious Injuries - being stigmatised as selfish and the main driving factor behind increasing cover prices.
However, our data clearly demonstrates that the insurance industry itself is responsible for most of the claims it accuses lawyers of creating and Neil Kinsella, our Chief Executive, has branded the fact this sector labels itself as a victim of claims as "quite shocking".
"The behaviour of the insurance industry in this matter has been quite indefensible. They have sought to demonise claimants on the one hand whilst encouraging those very claims on the other," Neil added.
How has the research challenged the ambulance-chasing myth?
Trevor feels that the data generated by this research is likely to have an effect in terms of improving the reputation of Solicitors and their role in the claims process.
"The greatest impact required is in relation to how Personal Injury Lawyers are perceived, as well as to emphasise the value and the nature of the work carried out by Personal Injury Lawyers. I think that is misunderstood," he noted.
Trevor went on to state that he feels the report will go some way towards dispelling such myths, as it completely dismisses the unfounded notion that such legal professionals are only interested in encouraging people to make claims in their own self-interest, as this "couldn't be further from the truth".
"This survey makes it clear, hopefully, that it is the insurers who create a trigger in the minds of many people to make claims for their own purposes - i.e. to receive referral fees. That is an important message to be delivered," he said.
In addition, Trevor indicated that a major part of a Solicitor's role in a Personal Injury damages claim is to help facilitate their improvement with regard to their recovery and ability to get back to work.
What has driven the misconception of Personal Injury Lawyers?
Trevor believes the fallacy of Solicitors being portrayed as the bad guys in the Personal Injury Claims arena has mainly been driven by the efforts of insurance companies.
He explained that such firms will always try to find a reason why they should not offer a settlement whenever a claim is made against them, usually by carefully scrutinising the small print of their agreements in an attempt to find any loopholes.
"There is a clear benefit in insurers reducing the number of claims being made, as this of course reduces the amounts of compensation they would have to pay to the victims of accidents," Trevor added.
Our Principal Lawyer (Partner) went on to insist that this trend has "driven the agenda" in the media with regard to rising insurance premiums, even though it does not tell the full story.
Contact our Personal Injury Solicitors on 0800 916 9046 or email email@example.com if you would like advice on any Personal Injury matter.
Posted by Chris Stevenson
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