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Association of Personal Injury Lawyers

Public denied justice as ‘no-win no-fee’ ends

02 Apr 2013
APIL news

Today (2 April) signals the end of the current no-win no-fee legal system for personal injury as new reforms come into effect that will deny injured people proper justice.

“No-win no-fee was introduced by the Government after legal aid was all but abolished for injury cases, to give the average man on the street a chance to use the legal system to right the wrongs done to him,” explained Karl Tonks, president of the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL).

“But reforms which take effect from today, which are designed to save money for the guilty party who caused the injury, mean that the no-win no-fee option as we know it no longer exists,” said Karl.

Injured people will no longer be able to recover all the costs of a case from the negligent defendant responsible for the injury, so payment will have to come from an injured person’s compensation.

“This goes against the general principle of compensation claims, which is that the claimant should receive the right amount of money in compensation to return him to the position he was in before the injury occurred,” said Karl. “It switches the burden from the guilty party to the victim.”

Premiums for after-the-event insurance, which is used to insure claimants against the risk of losing, are also no longer recoverable from guilty parties or their insurance companies.

“Perfectly valid but complex claims can carry a greater risk of losing and, as a consequence, the premium can be expensive. Injured people will see a further reduction in their compensation to pay for it. In some cases it might not even be worth trying to bring a claim if it is not ‘cut and dry’.”

“When someone is negligent and causes suffering, he should be held to account. Pursuing justice should not be an additional burden on someone who is injured and simply looking to put his life back on track. Nobody asks to be injured, and now injured people are expected to cover the cost of pursuing redress,” he added.

-ends-

Notes to editors:

  • The reforms form part of the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act and are the result of Lord Justice Jackson?s recommendations in his review of civil litigation costs, published in January 2010.
  • APIL (Association of Personal Injury Lawyers) is a not-for-profit organisation whose members are dedicated to campaigning for improvements in the law to help people who are injured or become ill through no fault of their own.
  • For more information contact APIL's press and communications officers Jane Hartwell on t: 0115 943 5416, m: 07808 768623, e: jane.hartwell@apil.org.uk, or Tim Carter t: 0115 943 5409, e: tim.carter@apil.org.uk.
  • Visit the association's website at www.apil.org.uk.
  • •Follow @APIL on Twitter: www.twitter.com/APIL.

Past press releases

Government abandons full compensation for injured people, 23 Oct 2018
Extra pressure on NHS if Civil Liability Bill goes ahead, 03 Sep 2018
Bereaved relatives deserve fairness, 31 Aug 2018
Cut whiplash injuries with the headrest test, 15 Aug 2018
Grieving parents of stillborn babies fight for answers, 22 Jun 2018
Lawyers call for outright ban on cold calling for personal injury in Scotland, 01 Jun 2018
APIL, FOIL and MASS join forces for mediation project, 29 May 2018
Grieving relatives cruelly ignored by justice system, 27 Apr 2018

More past press releases

Head of Public Affairs
Lorraine Gwinnutt
0115 943 5400
lorraine.gwinnutt@apil.org.uk

Communications Manager
Jane Hartwell
0115 943 5416
jane.hartwell@apil.org.uk

Press & Communications Officer
Lizzy Freeman
0115 943 5431
lizzy.freeman@apil.org.uk