Calling in a personal injury lawyer in the Netherlands for free, blessing or danger?

The Netherlands has a unique system when it comes to the costs of a personal injury lawyer. Where in most countries you have to pay for the costs of a lawyer yourself, this does not apply in the Netherlands when it comes to a personal injury lawyer. For example, if you need a personal injury lawyer in The Hague (Dutch: letselschade advocaat Den Haag) after an accident in The Hague, you do not have to bear the costs yourself.

In the Netherlands, the right to free legal assistance after a traffic accident, industrial accident or dog bite is included in the law. The Dutch Civil Code states that part of the damage is the costs that must be incurred by the victim to determine liability and estimate the costs. In other words, it is the guilty party who must pay the costs of the victim’s personal injury attorney. Because all motor vehicles in the Netherlands are compulsorily insured against liability, it is often the non-life insurer who pays the costs. For example, from a personal injury lawyer in Utrecht (Dutch: letselschade advocaat Utrecht) after a collision in this city. But employers and dog owners are also usually well insured against liability.

The advantage of the Dutch system

It is a wonderful system that is beneficial for personal injury victims, free help from a personal injury lawyer. Submitting a claim yourself to a counterparty or its insurer is not easy. As a victim of an accident, you often have to deal with a personal injury lawyer from a large insurer. This has only one goal, to keep the damage burden as low as possible. After all, insurers have a profit motive and paying out personal injury damages reduces profits.

Due to the free legal assistance of a personal injury lawyer in the Netherlands, the threshold for engaging a lawyer is therefore considerably lowered. It is therefore not for nothing that you will find many personal injury lawyers and personal injury bureaus throughout the Netherlands. But this also has a very big disadvantage!

The disadvantage of the Dutch system

The advantage of the Dutch system is clear: everyone who is the victim of an accident for which someone else is liable is entitled to compensation, but also to free legal assistance from a personal injury lawyer. Because the costs are usually paid by an insurer, the personal injury lawyer usually receives his costs fully reimbursed.

Unfortunately, many entrepreneurs in the Netherlands are also aware of the fact that insurers pay the costs of a personal injury lawyer. The law also does not state that there is a right to a free personal injury lawyer, but that the costs of determining liability and quantifying the damage are covered by the compensation. On the basis of this legal provision, anyone may therefore claim personal injury on behalf of a personal injury victim.

The result of the foregoing is a proliferation of personal injury agencies that deal with the recovery of personal injury as a result of a traffic accident, accident at work or dog bite. This while these people have no knowledge of injury damage at all. Often it is not even lawyers who offer to recover personal injury claims.

Because everyone in the Netherlands is allowed to engage in the recovery of personal injury, many personal injury victims receive far too low compensation. This with all the harmful consequences that entails.

Although the Dutch system is therefore victim-friendly, it also entails a great danger.

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