Why are the whiplash reforms a ‘false narrative’?

The insurance industry and the government have for three years reported that the UK faces a “fraudulent claims” epidemic. This apparent epidemic is backed up by data which, with some deeper digging, can be seen as “cherry picked” in order to support the agenda of both parties.

Scott Rees & Co, alongside the Access to Justice Campaign representatives, has been trying to prevent the reforms since their inception despite continually finding deaf ears from the powers that be. So what is it that is inherently wrong with the reforms and the data it is based upon?

Scott Rees & Co - Liz Truss

Punishing innocents

The reasons behind Access to Justice Campaign are that, while the government’s proposals seem to be aimed at reducing fraud within the personal injury sector, they will in fact end up costing the UK millions, implementing them will likely shut out hundreds of thousands of legitimate claimants from their right to access to justice. These claimants will then realistically have no chance of compensation due to the unviable outcomes offered by the potential reform options.

As a reminder the Government proposes the following three reforms:

  1. A cap of £400 for whiplash injury claims.
  1. A complete removal of monetary compensation for whiplash victims altogether, in favour of a rehabilitation only system of compensation.
  1. An increase of the small claims limit from £1,000 to £5,000.

All three  options present a very bleak picture for future claimants, who could see themselves helplessly  suffering the financial repercussions of their injuries, while the insurance industry pockets the savings made at their expense.

These proposals seem to support the notion of “cutting off your nose to spite your face” by punishing soft tissue injury sufferers in order to prevent the non genuine claimants from profiting.


Skewed data

Why is the government so keen to push on and help out the insurance industry save money at the expense of claimants? Well, upon first glance, the evidence may seem compelling, but as with all data, it can always be portrayed exactly how you want to if you know how to use it.

The insurance industry, despite continually putting the cost of premiums up in recent years, hasn’t mentioned the cost of the average road traffic accident reducing by 30% since 2010, saving them £2.5 billion. If the industry as a whole has saved £2.5 billion, it begs the question why premiums are still rising?

The published data also points towards the number of soft tissue injuries rising by 50% in the last 12 years. While this is true, the industry did not mention the very large growth of cars on UK roads. Alongside with increase of drivers, the number of serious injuries and deaths on UK roads, along with accidents in general,  has been decreasing year on year.

Due to the overall reduction in accidents and serious injuries, surely the increase in whiplash claims is down to better road infrastructure and safer cars ensuring that when accidents do happen, both drivers are now likely to only receive very minor injuries, as opposed to breaking bones or suffering traumatic bodily injuries.


Pocketing the difference

Government officials will be guaranteed to be able to say that the number of fraudulent claims is down and the insurance industry will continue to save more money if the reforms are implemented.  While this may benefit them and indeed reduce the number of fraudulent claims, it hurts too many innocent people to seriously be considered a positive move.

It is our commitment tol continue to actively help the A2J campaign and try to show government officials that there are other ways to reduce fraud, without punishing thousands of genuine accident victims in the process.

The reforms are yet to be introduced and have just been the subject of a six week consultation. While this is the case you can still speak to us about getting the best possible compensation for ALL damages (physical, psychological and property damage) by calling 01695 722 222 or by filling in our online claim form here.


Image Source

Wikimedia Commons; Wikipedia; https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/f/f6/Liz_Truss_MP,_Minister_for_Education_and_Childcare,_at_her_speech_setting_out_government_plans_to_promote_more_great_childcare.jpg

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