Lawyers adopt the recovery position

Personal injury lawyers could travel to car breakdowns and accidents with a major motoring organisation if a proposed new scheme gets the green light.

The Solicitors Association of Personal Injury Practitioners (Sapip) has confirmed it is negotiating to place lawyers in the cars of crews travelling to breakdowns and minor accidents, although it will not say whether it is talking to the RAC or AA.

The highly secret negotiations have been going on for two months, although a major sticking point has been how much the lawyers will pay the motoring organisation for the right to “ride shotgun”.

“Personal injury lawyers need to go where their clients are,” said a Sapip spokesperson. “This will give consumers involved in an accident swift access to justice, especially those who do not have insurance.”

The spokesman added that lawyers would not put pressure on accident victims.

“We will have a very strict code; lawyers will have to stand at least five paces behind the man or woman from the motoring organisation.”

Personal injury lawyers believe the public will come to see them as the “fifth emergency” service.

An earlier Sapip proposal for personal injury lawyers to ride with cash-strapped ambulance crews was ditched.

“We saw the opportunity to ride with ambulance crews as a way of doing away with the view of us as ambulance chasers,” said the Sapip spokesperson.

The Law Society is understood to be planning a consultation paper on the issue.