Clients encouraged to 'think twice' before accepting first compensation offers
The Law Society is using a new advertising campaign to promote personal injury lawyers with the words 'Don't get mugged by an insurer - use a solicitor'.
The move comes in the wake of the Jackson reforms, at a time when insurers are taking advantage of the ABS rules to buy law firms.
The campaign, which starts today and runs for six weeks, includes adverts at railway stations, on the internet and in the regional and local media. A Chancery Lane spokesman described the approach as "bold, humorous and memorable".
The society has estimated the cost of the campaign at £2.30 for each of the almost 88,000 PC holders, or around £200,000.
Desmond Hudson, chief executive of the Law Society said: "This campaign doesn't pull any punches, but we need to make a clear message, see your solicitor, don't accept the insurers' first offer and don't deal with claims management companies."
However, Nick Starling, director of general insurance at the Association of British Insurers, said it was the "legal community doing the mugging, not insurers".
He said: "Insurers are fully committed to paying fair compensation to genuine claimants as quickly as possible full stop. Yet with a compensation system riddled with high legal costs and ambulance-chasing lawyers fuelling the ‘have a go’ attitude to claiming compensation it is the legal community that are doing the mugging, not insurers.
"And it is the insurance-paying public that is paying the price through higher premiums as a result of excessive legal fees and frivolous and dishonest personal injury claims.
"The government agrees with us, which is why their recently introduced reforms to the personal injury compensation system will ensure that genuine claimants get fair compensation as quickly as possible at proportionate cost. A campaign to ensure our compensation system is fit for purpose would serve the public much more than one promoting solicitors."
The adverts encourage people to think twice before they accept the first compensation payment they're offered by an insurer.
"You might get a much better deal if you take advice from a solicitor," one of the adverts states. "On average, people get two-three times more if they consult a solicitor, according to the Financial Services Authority."
The advert also says that three million people are injured in accidents every year and they have a right to compensation.
"Pursuing your claim with a solicitor will mean you will get what you are genuinely entitled to."
The campaign follows last year's more mild-mannered 'ask a solicitor' advertisements. More information is available at http://www.lawsociety.org.uk/promote.