Thousands of personal injury victims every year may lose out on compensation if the Government goes ahead with proposed changes to the Small Claims legislation.

Law firm Higgs & Sons claims the only winners will be the negligent and their insurance companies.

Currently, accident victims who recover over £1,000 worth of damages for their injuries also get their legal costs paid by the person responsible for the accident, or their insurers. But if the limit is increased to £2,500 as proposed, even victims with more serious injuries may have to pursue their cases without legal representation, it is suggested.

Higgs & Sons cautions that insurers are far more likely to dispute liability if they consider that the victim is unlikely to start court proceedings because they are unable to pay for a solicitor. If they decide to go ahead and sue without legal representation they will not have the expertise to argue legal liability and may be up against an insurer's experienced barrister.

Research by the Motor Accident Solicitors Society shows that the £2,500 limit could involve around 80 per cent of all motor accident injuries. Furthermore, independent research by MORI found that 64 per cent of the public would not pursue an injury case under £2,500 if the Small Claims limit is increased.

Injury specialist at Higgs & Sons, Mark Parsons, said: "If enacted, these changes will discourage thousands of genuinely injured people from pursuing their case."