Trends in lawyer use in road traffic injury compensation claims

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Injury compensation claimants use legal services to help them navigate compensation schemes, including accessing benefits and resolving disputes. Little is known, however, about the extent of lawyer use by compensation claimants, including changes over time. This paper presents findings from one of the largest empirical investigations of lawyer use in an injury compensation setting to date. Using evidence from more than 275,000 claims in the road traffic injury scheme in the state of Victoria, Australia, this study examines the prevalence of, and changes in, lawyer use between 2000 and 2015. The analysis identifies a significant increase in the use of lawyers in the scheme, and explores possible explanations. This study provides critical insights into lawyer use in compensation settings: the steep increase in lawyer involvement has both access to justice and financial implications for compensation schemes, given the associations between lawyer use, claimant outcomes, and long-term scheme viability.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0231025
Number of pages14
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2020

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