Bad news for unscrupulous “ambulance chasing lawyers”
In recent times, lawyers representing injured people have been the subject of some considerable negative coverage in the Press, often with a tiny minority of practitioners affecting the perception of the public about the profession as a whole.
Press articles have often referred to a “compensation culture”, even though the Government’s own reports and statistics upon which such headlines were based show that this was merely a perception and not a reality. Solicitors and lawyers have often been characterised as living off tragedies which happen to others – the term “ambulance chaser” having found its way into popular usage.
Well, have such “ambulance chasers” met their match ? At a recent Gitex exhibition at Dubai’s World Trade Centre, there was much interest in a Lotus Evora sports car, that has been equipped for paramedics and is being dubbed “the world’s fastest ambulance”. In theory, paramedics will be able to respond to emergencies at speeds of 185 mph, drastically reducing response times and therefore saving lives !! Quite apart from whether that is practical on the busy and congested roads we all know in the United Kingdom, is it also time to pity the poor ambulance chasing lawyer, who no doubt will have to rethink their tactics in their unscrupulous attempts to sign up new clients ??
Or maybe in fact it is time to look at those who represent injured people in a more balanced and fair way, and to understand the job that they do, and how they often work tirelessly for the rights of the severely injured. The same lawyers who understand there is a difference between true accidents and negligence, the latter giving rise to justifiable claims, the former not doing so. These lawyers will understand that when considering the circumstances of the incident that caused the injury, a careful and analytical approach to the evidence is required, and when they apply their legal skills to that analysis then robustly pursuing claims for the victims of genuine negligence and fault of others, but also being prepared to advise, when right to do so, that a potential client should avoid the stress of litigation which is unlikely to be successful nor of benefit to them. These same lawyers will then understand that serious injuries are life changing in so many ways. Their focus will be the same as their client – and whilst the financial impact of sometimes being unable to work and earn a living is of course of massive concern and importance – that other matters such as independence and rehabilitation assume equal if not greater priority. Such lawyers will bring their experience to bear in seeking to secure interim payments at the earliest stage, to utilise their knowledge of serious injury to then help in securing the appointment of Independent Case Managers who will work to co-ordinate goal focused programmes to make sure clients get the right sort of rehabilitation, treatment and therapies to maximise their progress. They will be innovative in their approach to claims to look for every opportunity to allow clients to achieve the best possible outcomes – celebrating with their clients when they achieve whatever goals are important to them, whether that be physical recovery where possible, maximising independence, returning to work or playing a full role in family life again.
So, the lawyers at Clarke Willmott will not be doing sprint training, nor asking “The Stig” for lessons in how to drive high performance cars to enable them to chase the new breed of ambulance on show in Dubai. Rather they will continue what they have always done in supporting their clients robustly and ethically to secure the compensation they require to allow them to do the best they can in restoring quality of life after serious injury.