It's very well for Colin Ettinger to pour scorn on John Jackson's commentary by citing CRU statistics (Letters, 8 July, Insurance Times). These government-compiled figures may well show a decrease in numbers of claims made, but the same statistics do not reflect their cost.
Personal injury claims are subject to a three-year limitation, much longer in the case of claims brought on behalf of the under-18s.
With the collapse of brand-name claims farmers there has been a dip in claims
numbers. But it is simply that and will remain so for only as long as new enterprises offering robust funding mechanisms wait in the wings for the opportunity to breathe new life into the market.
The cost of claims, which is the more consequential part of the numbers game, certainly has not diminished. Only surpassed by the level of pay-offs to departing chief executives of diminished plcs are claimant's lawyers to be measured in their capacity for turning
failure into success.
Claimants' personal injury lawyers are able to avoid counting the cost of their rate of failure by recovering success fees as an uplift on base costs to compensate them directly for investing time and energy in pursuing hopeless claims.
If some claimant lawyers were turned loose to run other types of businesses, the level of bankruptcies would surely skyrocket.
If Ettinger is half as much concerned with the welfare of potential infant claimants as he implies, there would be fewer claimants chasing something for nothing, and more money for investment in planning and safety.
Is there a compensation culture? Of course there is. Hopeless cases continue to abound. Who pays? Why, all of us.