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Whiplash Claims – Here we go again! 

The countdown to cracking down on fraudulent whiplash claims has been announced by the Government.

Their aim?

To set fixed amounts for compensation. Although figures have not yet been finalised, these fixed amounts will be significantly lower than the amount of compensation that is currently being awarded by the courts.

Here are a few possible examples:-

Injury Duration                      Current Levels                New Fixed Amount

0-3 months                              £2,150                                     £225

4-6 months                              £2,500                                     £450

10-12 months                          £3,450                                     £1,190

19-24 months                          £4,850                                     £3,725

 

In addition, if the claim settles for £5,000 or less, the victim will not be able to recover their solicitors’ costs from the insurers.

And yet the insurance companies representing the defendant will be able to afford legal representation.

Hardly fair!

Make no mistake, these reforms will have a huge impact on all motorists, motorcyclists, and cyclists who are genuinely injured on our roads through no fault of their own.

With no legal representation, the victim’s position is severely prejudiced and their claim is likely to settle at a significant undervalue.

As a result of these reforms, says the Government, the motorist can look forward to an average of £35 reduction in their insurance premium.

Good news?

No, it is not - this has been promised in the past and I personally have not seen any reductions – and frankly, I doubt very much that the insurance companies will pass this new “reduction” on either. Why should they? There is nothing to force them to do so.

I do accept that fraudulent claims are made.

But when claims are submitted to the insurers, they could defend it if they believe it is fraudulent.

It is easy.

They simply deny liability, leave it to the claimant to issue court proceedings and then a Judge decides who he/she believes.

This seems obvious to me.

But instead, over the years, insurers have fuelled the situation, which they themselves are now complaining about, by settling claims and even making offers to settle claims without the claimant producing any kind of medical evidence whatsoever.

And the Government could do more by banning cold calling with immediate effect.

How many calls have you received asking if you can be assisted in recovering compensation for injuries sustained in a road traffic accident that never happened?

Yes, steps should be taken to reduce the “compensation culture” that does exist but these proposals will have a disproportionate impact on the many thousands of motorists who are genuinely injured every year on our roads through no fault of their own.

These changes are likely to be implemented by April 2019.  The message is clear. If you are involved in a road traffic accident through no fault of your own, seek legal advice immediately.

 

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