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Today was a first for me – the first time I’ve ever been cold called about a mysterious car accident I was supposedly involved in recently.

The caller was potentially the least competent person to have ever operated a telephone. Initially she began by stating “her road traffic department” had informed her I had been involved in a car accident recently, which, of course, I have not.

When I questioned this she changed approach and began asking if I had been in a car accident in the past few years.

When I began questioning how she got my number the robot malfunctioned and she then defaulted into repeatedly asking that same question over and over until the line went dead.

Calls like this have contributed to giving personal injury lawyers a bad name but does it actually have anything to do with personal injury solicitors?  How does it all work?

The problem actually begins with your car insurance company.  People inside the company, whether authorised or not, sell your data to cold calling companies.  The cold calling companies then try to ascertain whether there is a potentially viable case to then sell to other rogue companies, who in some cases are in fact personal injury solicitors.

Whilst the Government has on occasion levied large fines against such companies, the reality is that such fines are often outweighed by the profits they make in selling the data on and as such, once the company is shut down the owners will invariably re-open under a new banner, perhaps in the name of a friend or family member.

So why don’t car insurance companies crack down on this and protect your data?  The answer is simple – there’s no incentive.  They know they won’t be blamed as most people won’t realise how the cold calling company got the information, and the anger it generates for the public, and resulting antipathy towards personal injury solicitors, further assists them in having the law changed to reduce people’s right to claim for genuine matters, thereby boosting their profits.

The truth is the motor insurance companies should be protecting our data.  Think about it, in any other area of life would it be acceptable for companies to perpetually leak customer data on a wide-scale basis?

But how do they get away with it?  The answer to this is also simple.  The Government has already forged close links with insurance companies via wealthy lobby groups and is already putting in place the insurance companies’ agenda; this agenda wouldn’t work if the public were fully informed about the true nature of the legal sector.  The antipathy towards personal injury solicitors therefore assists the Government in pressing through the current reforms, so again there is little incentive to crack down on these cold calling companies.   If the Government wished to, both the data leaks and cold calling could be stopped in a matter of months.

Aston Knight Solicitors are a specialist personal injury firm who deal with high value matters, fatalities, clinical negligence and more.  We pride ourselves in never working with cold calling companies and urge the Government to use its powers to stop such practises and to punish the insurance companies who fail to protect customer data.

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