It is hard enough for dog bite victims to get the compensation they deserve without having to go through the whole process without the assistance of a solicitor but that's exactly what has been looming over them for the last few months while the government considered increasing the small claims court limit. Thankfully the Ministry of Justice has now confirmed there is to be no increase for the foreseeable future.
At the moment the small claims court limit for personal injury claims is £1,000. This means that if your injury (note injury and not the total value of your claim) is worth over £1,000 you can instruct a lawyer and if your claim is successful you can recover the cost of that lawyer from the Defendant. The government were considering increasing that limit from £1,000 to £5,000 which would have meant that if your injury was worth less than £5,000 you would have to pay for your own legal advice and even if you won it wouldn't be recoverable from the defendant. As the vast majority of the less serious dog bites are usually worth less then £5,000 this would have impacted upon many many dog bite victims.
The idea behind the rise was to actively prevent the number of apparently "fraudulent" whiplash claims and was much championed by the insurance industry. Regardless of the arguments for and against whiplash claims an increase in the limit would have affected all personal injury claimants.
The insurance companies are determined lobbyists and it is likely that they will continue to pressure the government to increase the limit and certainly the government have not ruled out an increase in the future stating that they are awaiting to see how recent changes in personal injury law work first.
For the moment dog bite victims can instruct a solicitor on a No Win No Fee basis without worry of receiving a huge bill at the end and safe in the knowledge that they can benefit of the expertise from specialist dog bite solicitors.
If you are seeking specialist advice regarding a dob bite then email [email protected] or phone 0808 139 1601