Accident Claims, Referral Fees and The Rise In Wild West Marketing Practices

I’ve been a specialist personal injury solicitor dealing with accident claims for over 12 years, I must say that I think that the accident claims market is completely out of kilter. We have a situation in the UK where everyone and his dog is vying to get attention, oftentimes using very suspect marketing hooks, in order to get you to sign up to make a accident claim.
With so much being paid by some of my peers in the legal profession – some are reported to pay as much as A�1000 per case – it’s little wonder that the market has turned into a wild west in the trafficking of accident victims’ personal details, with the insurance industry now blaming it for the rise in car insurance.
This whole sordid affair began back in 2004 when the Legal Services Board decided to lift the longstanding ban on solicitors paying referral fees for cases. That marked the beginning of the end of any kind of semblance of order in the provision of personal injury services, as claims management companies sprang out of the woodwork rubbing their hands and salivating at the thought of all those financial kickbacks that they can earn by simply referring cases to lawyers.
The problem is that while claims management companies now require approval and registration with the Ministry of Justice, there is little done in the way of policing these businesses.
So we now have a situation where the public are almost besieged daily and complaints Malpractice Lawyers In Norfolk Va are now flying in daily about harassment and about unsolicited calls and texts.
Much of what we see on TV and what we experience in the form of unsolicited calls and texts originate from the shadier world of claims management companies – businesses that have been specifically set up with the sole purpose of farming for injury cases. I’ve personally learned of call centers in India that spend the whole day long just sending out texts and making calls to UK citizens, fishing for accident cases.
Some in the media have labelled solicitors as “ambulance chasers” as well as accusing them of using other unpalatable tricks to get business. But it’s important that we don’t confuse the work that solicitors do with what claims management companies do. Just because you see an ad on TV or in the newspapers about claiming for injuries as a result of an accident, that doesn’t mean that law firms are behind those advertisements.
Similarly, because the work of bringing an action for compensation is done by solicitors, it’s automatically assumed that law firms are behind many of the sharp and unsavory business practices that many members of the public are now complaining about.
The reality is that most law firms just don’t have the time to be chasing accident victims and neither can they afford to be in any way connected with unsolicited calls and text messaging. The repercussions for a solicitor found guilty of such practices can be quite serious – after years of study and training the last think a solicitor wants is to have his practicing certificate revoked.
It’s unlikely therefore that lawyers are directly connected with the shadier business practices that we are seeing today. However, I’m quiet certain Home Remedies For Accident Pain that many lawyers are turning a blind eye to what’s happening even though they have a legal duty to inquiry how the leads they buy are acquired.
That being said, not all claims management companies work in an unethical or unlawful manner. In fact some do offer a good and valued service to genuine victims of accidents. The problem is that because there such high financial incentives on offer that’s loosely regulated, inevitably it’s only a matter time before you begin to attract both the wrong types of businesses and the wrong types of business practices.
Personally, I think that solicitors have to take some of the blame for this sorry state of affairs. For too long solicitors have been cocooned in an environment that was largely closed off to external competition. As a result we became complacent and naive on how to properly market ourselves to the public.
If solicitors were better at marketing their services, we would have been more self-reliant and we wouldn’t have become so dependent on the services of claims management companies when the market finally opened up. And we probably wouldn’t have seen the unsavory marketing practices that we are all now seeing.
The trafficking of accident victims’ personal details is such big businesses today that one can’t help but begin to question whether many of these businesses that have sprung up in the last few years have any genuine interest in helping victims of accidents?

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