Back in 2011, Lord Justice Jackson recommended reports to Britain's personal injury compensation system which also banned 'no win, no fee' lawyers from paying referral fees for accident victims' details.
After a separate court ruling earlier in 2012, the insurance industry was concerned that some claimants would enjoy a 10% increase in compensation without having to pay the success fee but following the ABI's successful appeal, the Court of Appeal ruled that the increase in court awards for personal injury will apply only to new claims that are made after 1 April 2013, and not for older claims that are settled beyond that date. The Association of British Insurers said the additional payouts would have added £13 to the cost of every UK motor insurance policy.
As part of the overhaul, so-called success fees in no-win, no-fee arrangements would be paid for by claimants – not by the insurer of the driver who caused the accident. As compensation for claimants, Lord Justice Jackson recommended a 10% increase in awards.
This decision by the Court of Appeal means that insurers will not be forced to pass on about £300 million in increased costs to the premium paying public.
For the public this means that crash victims will get a 10% rise in the damages they are awarded – but to balance this, the victims will lose the right to have insurers pay their 'success fees' – the money due to solicitors under no-win, no-fee litigation deals.
Insurers went to court because they feared the 10% rise in damages would apply to all cases decided after April 2013 – regardless of when they were started. The ruling made subsequently means only those who sign-up to no-win, no-fee deals after April will get the higher damages – and this will stop the possibility of a double return and an increase again the cost of premiums: this will ensure that accident injury victims cannot be able to get both higher damages and an extra slice of their legal fees paid by insurers.
This is not the last the public will hear of the 'no-win, no-fee culture' as insurers and accident lawyers are still battling over other reforms and which will need to be resolved. The ramifications of any change in the law always take a while to filter through, and if you have any queries regarding your vehicle insurance (cars, van, motorbikes – for private or commercial use, including fleet) just make one quick call to Westhill Insurance Services we always go the extra mile – so if you are looking for sensible and affordable vehicle insurance, just speak with us. One quick call to our friendly and dedicated team will sort out any problems you may have. As an independent insurance company we will shop around the find the best deal to suit your budget and will make sure you have cover you need, and none that you don't!
Contact Westhill Insurance Services, today.