The majority of personal injury victims feel more confident with legal representation than they do if relying solely on insurers, according to Law Society research. Three quarters of personal injury victims do not feel confident about bringing a claim on their own, with four out of five unconvinced that insurers will provide fair compensation.
The survey sought the views of 1,200 solicitors’ clients who had made claims under £5,000. 83 per cent of respondents rated a solicitor’s advice concerning their claim as ‘very important’. On top of this, 51 per cent believed they had received a higher level of compensation as a result of using a solicitor. Two-thirds of respondents thought they had been treated more fairly due to their solicitor’s representation. Almost all agreed that should they be involved in another similar claim, they would use a solicitor to represent them.
These findings come as proposals are being made by the insurance industry to increase the claims limit below which personal injury victims are expected to represent themselves. Currently, the limit under which self-representation is expected is £1,000. This limit is lower than for other types of claim because victims of personal injury are considered more vulnerable claimants and legal procedures can be complex.
Proposals to raise the limit to £5,000 have come under the banner of ‘increasing access to justice’. However, as this research shows, even those making smaller claims feel more secure with the benefit of legal representation.