APIL (Association of Personal Injury Lawyers) and MASS (Motor Accident Solicitors Society) have issued a judicial review of the Secretary of State for Justice’s decision to reduce the amount of fees payable for cases conducted through the road traffic accident personal injury scheme.
The judicial review challenges the Government’s decision to cut recoverable costs in the scheme by significant amounts. The organisations are concerned that the decision was made at an insurance summit held by the Prime Minister where the Government consulted insurers, but not those representing the interests of victims and claimants.
The Government appears to have accepted the insurance industry’s analysis that solicitors will make an unacceptable level of profit from cases run through the scheme, not something that is accepted by those working in this field.
Those opposing the cuts are concerned that the proposed cuts in costs will make running cases through the road traffic accident scheme unaffordable. Victims will find it difficult to obtain independent legal advice and may in turn be forced to negotiate with insurers for the compensation they need and to which they are entitled. Without specialist legal advice, this is likely to lead to claims being undersettled, with dissatisfied injury victims paying for the increased profits of insurers and dividends to their shareholders.
Insurers maintain that costs cuts are needed to reduce increasing premiums. Only time will tell, but we consider it highly unlikely that insurance premiums will come down.