The personal injury industry is once again having to ready themselves to go into battle with the government over whiplash, this time to mount a legal challenge to the MoJ’s proposed reforms to the claims system.
On Tuesday last week it was announced by the Government’s chief in command, Justice Secretary and Lord Chancellor, Chris Grayling, that there will be a new panel of independent medical experts, allocated to claimants on a cab-rank rule for whiplash claims.
In response to this several Personal Injury firms are readying to take the MoJ’s plans for whiplash to a Judicial Review to challenge the Government.
The bone of contention here is the belief that it is not right that a genuine claimant is denied the opportunity to choose a properly qualified expert and therefore their options are completely limited.
It is the belief of those PI firms involved, as well as those across the country, who have seen the Government obliterate their industry over the past few years, that the MedCo system, when launched, is set to impede people’s ability to prepare their own claims for whiplash, which in turn infringes on their human rights.
The lawyer acting on behalf of the group, Mark Jones said: “It cannot be right that a claimant is refused the right to carefully select a properly qualified and accredited expert and is told instead they must choose someone from a more limited list made available to them.”
“Government has been telling us that it wants to support entrepreneurial business, and yet, at the same time, they would be preventing many law firms and medical agencies from conducting and expanding their current enterprises which could lead to serious adverse consequences, including selling or closing parts of their operations and making staff redundant.”
“We feel that this is one of a number of points which show the reforms to be ill-conceived and underlines why we believe they should be challenged in the courts.”
Scott Rees & Co Partner, David Byrne, is in support of the plans to push for a judicial review over the plans for more whiplash reform and pulled no punches when it came to his opinion of what the Government has already done to the industry and what it plans to do.
“It is clear that the Government have no real compassion or interest on what the impact of their reforms will have on the industry. This has been proven over the past two weeks when they admitted that there was no impact research before they decided to implement the terms of LASPO.”
“The only thing the personal injury industry can really do in the face of this next strand of reforms is to fight them and fight what is important and that is the protection of the accident victims’ access to justice and in this case their Human Rights.”
“It goes much further than stemming the tide of destruction against the personal injury sector itself and it seems that the Government have long since forgotten what is truly important here and that is the accident victim. The person who did not ask to be put in the position to have to claim for compensation but needs it to ensure they can recover and afford to cover the cost to them in the mean time.”