Personal injury compensation experts say that the new legal aid bill, once signed into law this Spring, will put an end to the ‘no win no fee‘ conditional fee system, which will ultimately result in as many as 600,000 ordinary Brits to lose their access to justice every year.
The entire personal injury claims industry will be affected by the new legal aid bill, such as cases involving invasion of privacy, phone hacking, or claims of professional negligence made against banks, surveyors, and lawyers. Those afflicted by industrial ailments such as asbestos-related pleural plaques and mesothelioma, or the families of those killed by these diseases, will be crippled by the lack of no win no fee conditional arrangements, as industry experts predict that the number of claimants will plummet by 25 per cent if conditional fee arrangements are indeed scrapped by the Legal Aid bill.
In addition to experiencing a 25 per cent drop in the number of claimants, those who remain will see losses of as much as one pound for every four they earn in compensation, as the Legal Aid bill makes claimants responsible for the payment of their legal team’s success fees, instead of having the defendant paying them, as they do now. The move has been heavily criticised by industry experts, who say that the government has bowed to pressure from insurance company lobbyists, with the result being that insures look to gain £2.25 billion or more on an annual basis.
Insurers counter that this will bring down the cost of insurance claims, which will then result in cheaper premium prices for everyone – especially motorists, as car insurance claims account for a large percentage of the cost of an insurance policy.