The Queensland legal community has disagreed with the government’s decision to pass legislation against claim farming. In late June, the Personal Injuries Proceedings Amendment Bill 2022 was approved. It attempts to end “claim farming,” but ultimately it could end up hurting both the victims and the legal industry.
It is true that by nature Claim farming is a predatory practice, with claim farmers deploying deceptive tactics to target those who are sick, grieving, and vulnerable. However, with the passage of this bill, it could end up denying claimants of rightful outcomes and access to quality legal advice. The change will hurt victims but will be applauded by insurance companies whose payments to injured claimants will be reduced as a result.
Peter Carter of Carter Capner Law said, “This stops me from informing an individual I meet about the rights even if they ask me. I have been working as a solicitor for the past 40 years. Our job is to inform the common people when their rights are breached, what steps they can take, and how we can help them. But it is impossible in this new situation.”
According to Mr. Carter, law firms frequently send cases to colleagues with more experience in particular areas of the law in exchange for a portion of the costs. He claimed that stopping this practice would have harmful repercussions. Because of their experience with significant injuries and complex claims, Carter Capner Law receives referrals from throughout Queensland and Australia. Without these fees, some attorneys would decide to represent themselves rather than refer cases even though they lack the necessary experience, resulting in worse outcomes for the victims.
According to Mr. Carter, the measure is “a significant step backward for access to justice.”
Mr. Carter shared that the government missed a great opportunity to pass legislation on behalf of victims. They could do so by retaining the immunity for wrongdoers from paying the legal costs of the person injured except in very serious cases.
However, the way things have come, the customers will have to pay the legal costs for most of the claims from the damages they get.
It is a heavy-handed decision, according to Mr. Carter. He highlighted that the government must understand the view of reputable law firms to prevent new law firms from exploiting their clients.
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