With the recent huge changes massively reducing the possibility of making an injury claim worthwhile for smaller claims both for claimant and lawyers and therefore likely to reduce the huge volume of claims, is it likely that injury law will revert back to being like other areas of law ?
You may immediately say that you don’t understand what I mean, so let me explain. Personal injury claims have been sold like a commodity, not based on the skills of the law firm or individual lawyer, but essentially as a product, with marketing to the fore.
What’s especially noticeable about personal injury until now is that the marketing budgets have dwarfed other legal marketing for other sectors and the message has been fundamentally different. It’s been almost taken as a given that a claim would succeed and has been all about who can get the best advertising and offer the best inducement.
A particular facet that evidences the clear difference is that very few personal injury websites have even bothered to have a staff page or biographies of staff, which is completely unlike most other legal websites and areas of law where the prospective clients increasingly will want to check out who might handle their case and in an ever more in-depth way, which of course makes total good sense given the importance of legal matters.
The personal injury market has changed now as it simply won’t be as lucrative going forward so it is unlikely that the public will be subjected to the same amount of marketing and the message will also have to change as few if any firms can offer 100% guaranteed compensation now.
Once the public realise also that, in the absence of guaranteed 100% compensation it matters who they instruct, they are likely to be far more discerning about the lawyer that handles their case and the funding offer available, as this is also likely to be different from 1 firm to another.
In short personal injury is likely to become more niche, and whatever the rights and wrongs of the recent changes, that is a good thing because otherwise, it would be all too easy for a an unwitting claimant who has sustained a really nasty injury to think that all PI ;lawyers are the same. A classic example of the more niche approach is medical negligence law because that has always been highly complex and a world away from a whiplash claim following a rear end car accident shunt. With a prospective medical negligence case it’s very important to have an experienced lawyer and law firm to consider the case and advise whether it should proceed.