You can be involved in an accident through no fault of your own. For example, because you are hit from behind in the car or hit by a car on your bicycle. But you can also have an accident at work because you slip on a slippery floor or because a colleague hits you on the forklift. Finally, you can be bitten by a dog, resulting in injury.
You can hire a personal injury specialist to make a claim for personal injury after an accident. This can be a personal injury specialist or a personal injury lawyer from a personal injury law firm. In many countries you have to pay for this personal injury lawyer yourself. This is very expensive. Personal injury lawyers in particular charge high hourly rates for their work. An hourly rate of € 200.00 or higher is the rule rather than the exception.
Free legal assistance in the event of personal injury in the Netherlands
In the Netherlands, but also in countries such as Germany and Austria, the costs of legal assistance from a personal injury lawyer or personal injury agency fall under personal injury compensation. In other words, the costs of legal assistance must be reimbursed by the other party. This is often a car insurer or insurance from an employer or dog owner.
So, for example, if you engage a personal injury lawyer in Den Bosch (Dutch: letselschade advocaat Den Bosch) or in Groningen (Dutch: letselschade advocaat Groningen) in the Netherlands, your personal injury claim will be recovered completely free of charge. You will therefore never incur costs in the Netherlands for your legal assistance in the event of personal injury. However, there is a condition, the free legal assistance for personal injury in the Netherlands only applies if there is a party that can be held liable. You can think of a rear-end collision in which the rear vehicle is liable.
Good system or not?
The system of free legal aid for personal injury in the Netherlands sounds like music to your ears, but is it really such a perfect system or are there also disadvantages to a system of free help with personal injury?
Unfortunately, these drawbacks do exist. Because of the free system for personal injury, cunning entrepreneurs see an opportunity. The costs for legal aid are often paid directly by the insurer to the legal aid provider. In the case of a personal injury lawyer, this usually goes well. After all, these are professionals who are also supervised by the Dutch Bar Association. Little can go wrong, and the damage is neatly recovered and the costs are paid directly to the personal injury lawyer.
But as a result of the Dutch system, there are also all kinds of shady personal injury agencies that pretend to be personal injury specialists while they lack knowledge and skills. The result is that many people receive poor or even no legal assistance. The personal injury agency then only collects the cost compensation and then does nothing in the personal injury case of the injury victim.
The Dutch system of personal injury claims therefore seems perfect, but in practice this is unfortunately not!