Access to justice or compensation culture

A nice little story in the Lawyer about iphone gadgets being used as a marketing tool (and possibly as a client adviser interface):

According to the Lawyer:

The Car Incident Assistant application gives accident victims the ability to get instant advice from the wreck of a crash, including access to a lawyer over the phone via a call centre.

Claimants can press “help” on their phone and fill out all the details of those involved in the crash.

The application then connects to the firm’s 24-hour accident help system and assists a claimant to collect information about the accident.

The firm’s managing partner David Bott said: “The advice a potential claimant gets is free, if they then want to proceed with a claim we’ll then process the claim and look after the damaged vehicle and even ensure the accident victim can get home.

“It’s all about customer service and we feel this application gives any accident victim instant comfort that someone is looking after them. We’re in talks with a number of interested insurers who see this as a valuable customer service application for their policy holders”.

The firm has been criticised for ambulance chasing though it can be equally argued that this simply reflects new modes of communication, the claimant has to take the initiative and  it may encourage contemporaneous recording of evidence it may (depending on the processes and approach of the advisers involved) increase the quality of claims brought by making dubious claims more difficult.

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About Richard Moorhead

Director of the Centre for Ethics and Law and Professor of Law and Professional Ethics at the Faculty of Laws, University College London with an interest in teaching and research on the legal ethics, the professions, legal aid, access to justice and the courts.
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