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Whiplash Claims Sparks Political Reaction

Friday, 13 January 2012

Personal injury lawyers play an important role in ensuring that people are properly compensated when injured in accidents. Making sure that people have access to the right medical treatment and financial support following a car crash, for example, is a matter of public interest.

Personal injury claims arising from road accidents have doubled in the last 10 years causing motor insurance premiums to spiral. That is despite a fall of around 30 per cent in road accident casualties over the same period. This disparity has made it a political issue with whiplash claims in particular coming under scrutiny.

According to recent data, whiplash payouts account for 70 per cent of all motor insurance personal injury claims. The subjective nature of whiplash claims make them difficult to disprove. Currently, if insurers are faced with a claim where an individual presents them with a medical certificate saying they have got whiplash, it is up to the insurance company to prove otherwise. With the potential cost of challenging a claim far exceeding average compensation, insurance companies lack any incentive to test the validity of claims. This is a green light for accident victims, whether they have suffered a genuine injury or not.

The committee's recommendations are that the threshold for receiving compensation in whiplash cases should be raisedand that the government go further and require objective evidence that a whiplash injury exists and that it has a significant effect on the claimant's life.

Although changes to the law appear likely, it is important that genuine claimants are not put off making genuine claims by the political storm. If you would like further information about this matter or if you would like to discuss a potential or current claim following an accident you have been involved in, we have experienced lawyers on hand who can offer you clear legal advice. Please contact Sarah Vincent by email or by telephone 020 7611 4848.