Preserving the Reputation of Legitimate Solicitors
BY Anthony Waddington
Over the last couple of months the personal injury claims industry have come under an excessive amount of public scrutiny, most notably from Labour MP Jack Straw and Prime Minister David Cameron both reigniting the age old argument of Britain’s so called ‘claims culture’ after a surge in false whiplash claims.
As a result of this increased pressure from politicians I’ve noticed the term ‘no win, no fee’ develop negative connotations among my fellow colleagues within the legal profession as well as from the general public.
However I’m here to stress the importance and ethics behind these types of legal services, one of which is to improve the access to justice for so many people who would otherwise suffer. If ‘no win, no fee was taken away the only people who would have access to the justice system would be victims with enough money to fund litigation, or those with the appropriate insurance cover.
Unfortunately with the introduction of an increasing number of less reputable claims firms at the other end of the legal landscape, I’m not surprised so many consumers attempting to gain compensation find the process complex and confusing. Their unethical tactics used to entice consumers to bring in cases, such as cold-calling and in-your-face advertising, have no doubt contributed to the growing criticism of the personal injury claims industry.
I believe consumers need to be made more aware of the difference between legitimate injury law firms and less reputable claims management companies (not tarring all of them with the same brush of course – many are offering a legitimate service). It has undoubtedly become more difficult for consumers to identify qualified practitioners that are genuinely on their side in seeking fair compensation. Seeking advice from a reputable and legitimate law firm will ensure customers receive quality legal advice from experienced solicitors. A professional and helpful legal service is exactly what is needed at a time when they are having to adjust to life with a serious injury.
I therefore urge all customers to source the right kind of legal support for their claim. Working directly with specialist solicitors will ensure you are in good hands and put you on the path receiving the justice you are seeking.
Anthony Waddington is an Associate Solicitor in the Personal Injury department of Colemans-ctts Solicitors.
The firm have offices in Kingston upon Thames, Manchester and Cockfosters.