You have been hit by a car or bicycle or you have had an accident during work. An accident resulting in personal injury happens several times every day. In many countries there is a personal injury lawyer (in Dutch: letselschade advocaat) who assists in holding the liable party liable and recovering personal injury after an accident. This personal injury lawyer is paid in most countries or there is no cure no pay.
A different system applies in the Netherlands. Here personal injury has become a market for smart entrepreneurs. There is a lot of money to be made in the Netherlands with personal injury claims. Unfortunately, this is at the expense of the quality of legal assistance to victims of a collision, accident at work or dog bite.
In the Netherlands it is the case that the costs of legal assistance in the event of personal injury are paid by the liable person or in most cases also by a passenger insurance (in Dutch: SVI verzekering)
Types of legal aid providers
In the Netherlands, two groups of legal aid providers can be distinguished when it comes to personal injury claims. There are lawyers,eg. personal injury lawyers. They are members of a professional association and must meet strict requirements if they are to be allowed to handle personal injury cases.
In addition, there are personal injury specialists from personal injury agencies. No personal injury lawyers work here. Sometimes personal injury lawyers work, but often not even! The owners are cunning entrepreneurs. These people look at how they can earn money. A personal injury agency deals with personal injury claims because they can earn money, not because they want to help people.
Personal injury lawyers and personal injury agencies are therefore involved in personal injury claims, for example damage because someone has suffered a fracture or whiplash after a collision or industrial accident.
Difference between personal injury lawyer and personal injury agency
Both a personal injury agency and a personal injury lawyer recover personal injury as a result of an accident. Think of a car accident, a bicycle accident or because someone has been bitten by a dog.
The difference between a personal injury lawyer and a personal injury lawyer lies first of all in the quality of these legal aid providers. For example, personal injury lawyers have always received a university education and are supervised by the Bar Association. If something goes wrong, you can file a complaint with the professional association or the Bar Association
A personal injury lawyer or personal injury expert is in no way bound by rules. Anyone in the Netherlands can also start a personal injury agency, there are absolutely no conditions attached to the start of a personal injury agency. So you never know whether the quality of the legal aid provider is at a sufficiently high level.
It is also important that personal injury lawyers may litigate in court, a personal injury lawyer is not allowed to do so in most cases.
Is this the end of personal injury law?
Personal injury lawyers are generally not entrepreneurs. They are good at the profession they practice, but they often have no understanding of entrepreneurship. Owners of personal injury agencies do have this, after all, they are entrepreneurs. As a result, these personal injury agencies are increasingly conquering the market. The justified question is therefore whether the personal injury lawyers in the Netherlands will still have right to exist in the future.