Victims of road accidents across the country are calling on the government to protect the right to legal representation.

This time next year, thousands of victims of car accidents may not be entitled to free legal representation if a proposal from the Chancellor to increase the small claims limit in road accident claims from £1,000 to £5,000 is introduced.

Road users, who have seen first-hand how devastating an accident on the road can be, are calling for the government to ensure everyone has the right to free independent expert advice if it happens to them.

CASE STUDY: Cyclist receives compensation after road traffic accident

Thompsons Solicitors helped a cyclist secure more than £4,000 in compensation after he was injured in a road traffic accident.

56-year-old security guard, Anthony Keegan, was cycling home from work on Selvage Lane in Edgware when an oncoming car turned right into a driveway, cutting across his path.

Anthony had no time to avoid the car and crashed into the side of it, and the impact threw him onto its roof.

He was taken to hospital and found to have a soft tissue injury to his chest and a laceration on his chin, which needed 80 stitches. His bicycle was irreparably damaged.

Anthony had to have two weeks off work after the accident but returned before his injuries had healed because he couldn’t afford further time off.

He instructed road traffic accident specialists, Thompsons Solicitors, to investigate his claim.

Anthony said: “I was cycling home from work during rush hour so traffic was almost at a standstill; I was moving slowly past the cars on my right with the kerb to my left. With no warning at all the driver of a car travelling in the opposite direction pulled across into a driveway on my left and by the time I saw the car coming across my path it was too late.

“The government is now planning to prevent people like me, injured through no fault of their own, from having free access to an independent lawyer. There is no way I could have taken on the insurers of the driver at fault on my own – legal representation was vital for me and there will be thousands like me.”

Tom Jones, head of policy at Thompsons Solicitors, said: “Cyclists are one of the most vulnerable road users in the country, and without free legal representation they will be taking on insurance companies, their lawyers and wily negotiators on their own."

“Increasing the limit will mean those injured on the road in cases which are by no means small in value for them will be without someone to fight their corner. Anthony needed 80 stitches after his accident – who would class that as a ‘small claim?’”