Geoff Buck

Senior Associate

Dispute Resolution


From accident victim to commodity a short guide from Fraser Brown

Geoff Buck


 

The Government has recently announced its intentions to make it unlawful for insurers to take referral fees from legal organisations bidding to handle compensation cases after accidents.

 

At Fraser Brown, we believe this change in the law cant come soon enough.  We believe that accident victims should not be treated as commodities whose injury claims are to be bought and sold. We believe that accident victims deserve to be properly compensated where they have been genuinely injured as a result of someone elses fault. However, in order to get that compensation they should see their own solicitor and they shouldnt tolerate having their legitimate claim for compensation sold by their insurers to the highest bidder. 

 

Heres an example of what can sometimes happen:

 

1.  Accident victim (AV) has an accident caused by the fault of a third party. It happens. We all make mistakes.

2.  AV reports his accident to his insurers and says that he was injured in the accident.

3.  Details of his accident are ‘referred to the insurers panel Solicitors.

4.  The panel Solicitors pay hundreds of pounds (typically at least or in excess of £500) to the insurers for the referral if AV goes on to make a claim for compensation for his injuries.

 

The accident has cost AVs insurers nothing. It wasnt his fault. They wont be paying out to anyone. However, as soon as AV reported the accident to his insurers he became a commodity which had a value to them-the value being the amount of the ‘referral fee for which they could sell his claim.

 

This bidding system has contributed to the massive increases in car insurance premiums and the unfair treatment of road traffic accident victims. Our advice is to seek professional guidance from a trusted legal practice.

 

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