A recent report on legal costs has been drafted and handed to the Home Secretary, Jack Straw following a review of legal costs in relation to personal injury claims. I have to say that i did find the report a somewhat disturbing read. I have spent my whole career fighting hard for the benefit of injured people to ensure that they receive the access to justice that is so rightly deserved. The report appears to have lost all sight of the fact that there is an innocent and vulnerable party involved and instead, has focused on the legal costs involved in obtaining justice for innocent victims of accidents.
If these proposals are to be enacted, then it will be a sorry day for the disadvantaged victim of negligence who is merely seeking redress for injuries wrongly inflicted upon them. The report suggests that a person who retains the help of a solicitor such as myself to bring a claim for compensation should be burdened with having to pay a proportion of their compensation to their solicitor towards their legal costs when it is he/she who are seeking to be compensated for pain and suffering wrongly inflicted upon them. If this were to happen then ‘no win, no fee’ agreements would be a thing of the past.
At Lamb and Co., we focus upon obtaining the maximum compensation for each of our respective clients for injuries brought about by another negligence. Legal costs are only increased by the inaction of insurance companies in their failure to deal with the claim in a timely manner or even at all on some occasions! The report does not make any reference to the fact that the failures within the insurance industry is what has largely driven up the costs of personal injury litigation and not the lawyer who is doing their job by acting in the best interest of their client to ensure that they are properly and adequately compensated… that is my job and one i and every member of my team at Lamb and Co. will continue to do. We will continue to fight hard for the benefit of each of our clients which, in turn, results in reasonable costs being paid for our services by the wrong doer.
It is inconceivable to think that a victim of negligence should have to pay their own legal costs for something which is not their fault.
If the insurers got their act together and made timely and proper offers to innocent victims of negligence when required to do so, then there would have been no necessity for any form of costs review in the first instance.
We at Lamb and Co. will continue to lobby against the proposals which appear wholly unfair and would disadvantage our clients.