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APIL call for quality over cost in whiplash consultation response

The logo for the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL)

The Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL) has drawn out the battle lines over suggestions that the fees for medical reports could be cut, expressing their opposition to the suggestion in no uncertain terms.

In their response to the question over how medical reports should be funded moving forward, APIL Executive Committee Member, Brian Dawson said: “The question of the fee is really a matter for the medics.

“Our concern is that we want a thorough examination and a detailed report which offers an informed diagnosis. You shouldn’t put cost before quality. It will save money for everyone if there is a decent report, which deals with the issues.”

He also addressed the question over whether there should be a ban on personal injury firms using medical agencies that they have a financial tie or interest in.

Mr Dawson said: “We can understand the potential problem of experts depending on one source of work, but we can also see the benefits of economies of scale and the problems in defining ownership. The best way of dealing with it is though a robust accreditation process.”

APIL will, once again, find themselves in direct dispute with insurance lobbyists, the Association of British Insurers (ABI), over the consultation, after they suggested that the fees payable to medical experts should be cut by 10% and that law firms should be banned from using agencies they are financially connected with.

They believe that these adjustments would fully remove the referral element from the attainment of medical reports whilst leaving a profit element.

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