An end to bogus whiplash claims in England and Wales?

18 December 2012

Catherine Bradley advises on plans afoot in England and Wales to address what is perceived as a 'claims culture' of making bogus and exaggerated whiplash claims.

Bogus whiplash claims are widely regarded as being the main reason for the spiralling cost of car insurance.

In an effort to bring an end to a ‘claims culture’ system which is perceived as being open to abuse, Ministers have revealed plans to reduce the number of false whiplash claims in England and Wales which have neither merit nor substance yet ultimately deplete the ‘pot’ available for those genuinely injured as a result of a road traffic accident.  False claims which indeed serve to increase the cost of car insurance for the ordinary man on the street.

Justice Secretary Chris Grayling is to launch a consultation on making it easier for insurers to challenge whiplash claims following traffic accidents. The move was announced when figures revealed that there had been a 60% increase in personal injury claims relating to road accidents since 2006, despite a 20% fall in reported accidents.

To ensure that false, or exaggerated claims are challenged and only legitimate claims proceed, the government plans to use independent medical panels to assess the validity of whiplash cases. These medical panels would be independent of both the Claimant and the Claims management company. More whiplash cases could also be challenged in the small claims court, making it easier for insurers because they would not have to pay a successful claimant's costs.

The Government has said that the insurance industry has committed to passing on savings from these changes to consumers, so we should stand to benefit if these savings are reflected in our Insurance premiums.

The changes to the Law are set to come into effect in England and Wales in April 2013. Northern Ireland tends to follow suit when new legislation is enacted in England and Wales and we wait with interest to see whether this will be the case given that compensation in Northern Ireland already tends to be higher than in England and Wales.

At Worthingtons Solicitors we act for a number of Plaintiff’s who have sustained horrific injuries in serious road traffic accidents.  We strive to achieve the maximum level of compensation available for our clients therefore any change to the law which seeks to eradicate bogus or false whiplash claims is to be embraced.

Catherine Bradley is a Solicitor with Worthingtons Commercial Solicitors in Belfast. Catherine specialises in litigation and has experience in dealing with personal injury litigation from both the perspective of Plaintiff and the Defendant.

Should you have any queries in relation to this article, please submit your enquiry in the form below and we will contact you as soon as possible. Related links BBC website:  Catherine Bradley is a Solicitor with Worthingtons Commercial Litigation department and specialises in dealing with road traffic accident claims. Should you have any queries arising from this news item please contact Catherine using the enquiry form below.

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