Originally Posted by kidley
i think i heard on the news that the government are going to outlaw this no win no fee practice
I'm not so sure that's a good idea, because many people - including those who genuinely deserve compensation - may not be able to afford to sue to get it.
One of the problems is the word 'compensation'. It does not mean 'enrichment'. The purpose of compensation is to put the victim (as far as is possible) back into the state (s)he was in before the accident.
I was involved in an accident about 12 years ago. It was the other driver's fault. - He pulled out to overtake a lorry on double white lines, lost control and hit me head on. It was a spectacular accident (closing speed about 90mph.) He survived and when he was fit enough to appear in court, was convicted of dangerous driving.
My car (a 15 year old Volvo, in pristine condition) was a write-off. I) got £500 for that. (The car was worth more to me, but I could've bought a similar car for £500, so that's what I got.
My employer paid me sick pay while I was off work, so my employer was refunded the amount paid (fair enough.) I was paid for the clothing I was wearing (it was a write-off, but it wasn't good clothing. I got about £25 for that. (Fair, I didn't get rich.)
I received about £250 for 'pain, suffering and loss of amenity' - broken ribs, cuts and bruises. They hurt - but they heal. I couldn't dress myself for a while (couldn't bend to put my shoes on) so my son tied my laces.
I didn't make a profit - I probably lost about £20.
I had 4 passengers (children) in the car at the time of the accident. One was injured quite badly (the centre seat in the rear had a lap-strap only, his head went down between his knees and he suffered muscular and internal injuries. I understand he got (he needed) more money. The other 3 had cuts, bruises, a broken nose and a broken hand. They received compensation - but they were not made rich.
My son was one of the passengers and the thing that really annoyed me was that the other party's insurers quibbled over a few quid. The insurer required my son to have a further medical examination carried out by a consultant. I don't know how much the consultant charged, but the travel costs alone were probably more than the difference between the amount claimed and the amount offered - and bear in mind, the other party had admitted liability, so irrespective of the outcome the insurer was going to pay the costs.
Insurance companies don't give a damn! - They will waste money contesting claims (even when they know they are bound to lose.)
Perhaps it's the insurance companies - rather than the lawyers - who need to be 'reined in'.
Insurance companies have high costs because - in part, IMO - they waste money contesting claims. Not a problem for them - they pass the costs on to the policyholders.
It can work the other way. I live (during the winter) in a place where wearing helmets by motorcyclists is optional! (Morethan 75% of the motorcyclists I see on the roads are inadequately dressed. No helmets, no gloves, no boots, no leathers (tank tops and flip flops are 'dé rigeur')
The insurance companies love that!
"If you have an accident and you are not wearing appropriate (full) protective equipment, it's your fault and we are not paying out." (I wear full PE at all times. If it's too hot to wear proper clothing, it's too hot to go out on the bike.)
I asked an insurance underwriter (off the record) why premiums here are so low and he said "Because we don't have to pay out. There are plenty of accidents, but the rider can usually be held to have been at least partly liable, so we don't pay."
I said: "I wear full PE at all times." He said "I hate you!"
They don't pay out much to motorcyclists (overall) so I still get a very cheap premium.