Insurers which are dealing with multiple personal injury claims are facing the prospect of a downgrade from credit rating agencies. This is largely due to Periodical Payment Orders (PPOs), which are an alternative to lump sum settlements in personal injury cases. Under a PPO a claimant will still receive a lump sum, but a smaller one, which is then periodically topped up to cover costs such as medical expenses and to compensate claimants for loss of earnings.
PPOs were introduced by the Courts Act 2003 which gave courts the power to grant claimants settlements to cover them for the rest of their lives. Two years after their introduction less than five claims were settled using PPOs whereas by the end of 2010 almost 20 claims were settled in this way. This increased trend has been driven by low interest rates amongst other factors. Continue reading
NHS trusts ordered to remove ‘no win, no fee’ adverts
There is a growing clamor, and in some cases for understandable reasons, to reign in the worst excesses of the personal injury market.
What is frankly rather ironic and hypocritical is the way in which, when facing anger and criticism about big increases in insurance premiums, particularly car insurance, the insurers pass the buck to personal injury lawyers, notwithstanding that :-
- they have known about and done little to combat postcode personal injury claims for whiplash
- they have been earning money by charging lawyers for referrals when their insured’s want to make a claim against another insured’s insurers
The same principle perhaps applies to the hospitals who have been taking in revenue from allowing personal injury lawyers to advertise in official hospital publications. On one level this can’t be justified, that is on the moral level, particularly given that NHS Trusts who allow advertising have shown clever business skills by making any advertising dependent upon the law firm agreeing not to sue that Trust. However, such advertising being allowed does in some way legitimise the encouragement of making claims, and perhaps shifts problems in some cases onto other Trusts and local organizations such as the local council or other public bodies.
Personal Injury claims – there’s an app for that !
Yes, you guessed it, there’s now a handy mobile app for starting a personal injury claim, and this is really no surprise bearing in mind the market for personal injury claims is now thought to be worth as much as 3 billion pounds a year.
This is an ingenious move and notwithstanding the cynicism about the PI market and so-called ambulance chasing lawyers, this particular app seems to be well thought out and in fact genuinely useful.
When accidents happen, particularly traffic accidents, in the chaos and shock afterwards, it can be very difficult to remember what has happened, who the other parties are, their insurance details, witnesses and so on. This new app, created by 2ergo enables fast and easy collection of the vital data required. In fact, the insurers are welcoming this also as it is likely to assist in weeding out some of the many dodgy claims made each year because the way it is intended to work is that each insurer will have their own app and the customer will complete the details and forward to their insurance company. And best of all, this app is free, although we are not yet able to advise on which operating systems it may work, although we will update on this when we find out more.