September 18, 2009

People are people, so why should it be (pause) you and I should get along so awfully? So pondered vaguely-pervy Essex electro-dweebs Depeche Mode back in 1984.

As clumsy as this earnest rhetoricism may seem, it’s as relevant as ever today as two tribes (lawyers and insurers) go to war over the supposed sharp practice that is… third party capture (aka third party intervention).

“Don’t, don’t you want me,” your typical PI lawyer is apt to sputter, when a potential-client-accident-victim falls for the cheap allure of an insurer’s quickie payout and forsakes the righteous path of law.

Some insurers in Northern Ireland are “deliberately settling accident claims before victims get a chance to contact a solicitor,” the Law Society gasps in consternation. (Sorry, no 80s pop reference in this paragraph.)

Not only, the soliciting professionals suggest, do such fast-tracking shenanigans risk short-changing claimants, they recklessly bypass the invaluable professional input of lawpersons and med bods.

The Law Society has gone so far as to suggest that “Victims are being actively discouraged from seeking legal advice.” This sounds only slightly less bad than being passively discouraged.

Legitimate cause for concern, then?

Nonsense, nonsense, soothes the ABI with suave plausibility: “Insurers want to help innocent victims of road accidents get their vehicle repaired, and get the care and compensation they need, as soon as possible.” Quite so, and girls just wanna have fun. Allegedly.

Surely if we could just put aside such petty squabbling and recognise our common humanity the world would be a better place for victims and non-victims alike.



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