Campaign hots up to ensure taxi drivers get legal service they deserve
December 21, 2006 Business News(PRLEAP.COM) A campaign launched by law firm RTA110 (www.rta110.com) to get a fairer deal for taxi drivers injured in accidents is gaining momentum.
Road traffic accidents are an occupational hazard for professional drivers and the risk of being in a non-fault accident increases every year as roads become busier. An RTA can threaten a taxi driver’s livelihood. It’s essential taxi drivers get the best legal advice they can in such circumstances.
Unfortunately, this is rarely the case, according to Personal Injury Claim Solicitor Mark Lampkin, of RTA110, based near Chester, UK. He claims that in most cases non-fault drivers are being palmed off with a cost-cutting service from a solicitor who has already spent a chunk of the costs allocated to help them.
Lampkin explained: ‘Most personal injury claim solicitors pay insurers, credit hire companies, garages and big taxi firms, among others, for details of drivers who have been involved in an RTA that wasn’t their fault.
‘Standardised costs have been worked out by the Law Society Regulation Board and are paid to solicitors working on RTA cases. These costs legally belong to the client but most solicitors pay for referrals out of these costs. This means there will be less money to pay for their services.’
The result, says Lampkin, is a poorer service because a solicitor is unlikely to spend time for which he’s not being paid. Reduced damages may be the ultimate result of that poor service.
Lampkin recently started a campaign to bring an end to the referral system. Now, no less a figure than the Lord Chancellor – the UK’s most senior lawyer – has added his voice to the growing clamour calling for a review of the situation.
Speaking at the Law Society’s annual conference, Lord Falconer of Thoroton said: ‘I have a distaste for the financial traffic in personal injury litigation.’ He added that he would like to see ‘as much pressure as possible to get rid’ of referral fees.
Chief executive of the Law Society Desmond Hudson said the time was right for the Regulation Board to look again at the issue of referral fees. It is understood that the board is considering imposing a ban or toughening up legislation.
Mark Lampkin says he is delighted the issue is now being discussed at such a high level.
He said: ‘It’s important to spread the word about this scandal. The average costs agreed for handling, say, a simple whiplash injury case is £1,200. Yet I have heard of incidents where solicitors have paid up to £825 for a referral, leaving just £375 to fight a case. What sort of service is a client going to get for that?’
With referrals banned, says Mark, drivers who have been unlucky enough to become involved in an RTA will be guaranteed a decent legal service and value for money.
He stresses, however, that taxi drivers already have it in their power to avoid the scam.
‘Please remember you have a choice,’ he said. ‘You don’t have to let the costs you’re entitled to get chopped up by referral fees. Miss out all the middle men. Don’t phone your insurers first. Get straight on to the solicitor of your choice – and get the service you deserve.’
For more information on RTA110, please visit www.rta110.com
RTA110 is a branch of Lampkin & Co Solicitors, based in Ewloe, Flintshire. The firm specialises in personal injury claims, and employs dedicated teams devoted to claims from professional drivers and motorcyclists. RTA110 was launched in 2006 to buck the trend for cost-cutting services diluted by referral fees. RTA110 offers a 110% legal service to clients injured in an accident that wasn’t their fault. For more information contact Mark Lampkin on 08081 782110, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.rta110.com