Whiplash claims and no win no fee – is time running out?
The whiplash dilemma – balancing no win no fee and fraudulent claims
The coalition government continues in its efforts to drive down the cost of motor insurance by targeting what it sees as the inexorable rise of whiplash injury claims, and specifically fraudulent whiplash claims from supposed road accident claims.
On the 2 May the government held its “whiplash summit”, promising insurers tougher action on what it sees as the UK’s whiplash epidemic, in an effort to make it easier for insurers to combat whiplash claims, and drive illegitimate road traffic accident claims out of the system.
The summit was chaired by Transport Secretary Justine Greening, Justice Minister Jonathan Djanogly, Minister of State Oliver Letwin and the Minister for Roads, Mike Penning. The Defendant insurer lobby was well represented, and included top executives from AXA, RSA UK, Aviva UK and Zurich. No Claimant stakeholder groups were in attendance, much to the disappointment of representative bodies such as the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL) and The Motor Accident Solicitors’ Society (MASS). Amongst the agenda up for discussion at the summit was the government’s consultation on setting up independent medical panels to assess whiplash Claimants, combating fraud and possible changes to the County Court small claims limit. There had even been suggestion of the possibility of adopting a European model, whereby whiplash cannot be claimed unless vehicle speeds involved meet a certain threshold.
It does appear as if the government is gunning for whiplash Claimants, yet those who have suffered soft tissue injuries to their spine in road accidents are painfully aware that such injuries are all too real. Have you been involved in an accident and sustained a personal injury? If so, don’t delay – contact us today.