The Autumn Statement placed the whiplash reforms and upping of the small claims limit to £5,000 back on the agenda last month. While the insurance industry rubbed its hands at the extra income saved from having fewer claimants, the legal industry continues the fight against the reforms; seeking to keep access to justice for claimants. However prior to the festive period, Labour MPs joined that fight following a rallying call from Shadow Justice Minister Andy Slaughter.
Restricting legal advice
The Shadow Justice Minister told press he thought it was ‘fanciful’ to think litigants could represent themselves on cases where the general damages were as high as £5,000. With no legal training it is almost a guarantee that anybody choosing to represent themselves will find it incredibly difficult to win a case against defendants who can afford representation (most notably, employers and insurers).
The rallying cry led to a meeting of Labour MPs outside of parliament before Christmas to unite against the insurance industry in the “Feeding Fatcats” campaign. The campaign saw a selection of presents (from Justice Secretary Liz Truss) to be delivered by sled to insurance giants who look like they will profit massively from the reforms.
The presents were loaded up outside of Westminster, accompanied by carollers singing Christmas songs with a twist, with lyrics including:
‘Don’t get Truss’d up like a turkey, this deal is very murky
Insurers feeling perky, but it’s costing you dear.’
The campaign was a comical take on a serious issue but one which was sure to get important eyes on why MPs should be opposing the reforms and finding better ways to achieve objectives than simply removing soft tissue claims and forcing claimants without the means to pay for legal aid to represent themselves.
Supporting ‘Access to Justice’
Scott Rees & Co has and will continue to fight the reforms alongside MPs and the public. If you would like to join the fight and keep your ability to access professional representation when you are injured by whiplash or any other injury valued less than £5,000 you can help by visiting the Access to Justice ‘get involved’ section which helps explain what you can do to help.
The fight is still ongoing and will continue to be fought until the legal industry secures your right to legal aid. At present you can still claim for whiplash injuries and small injuries. If you have suffered in this way, please do get in touch with us on 01695 722 222 or fill out our online claim form which will enable us to talk you through your best options.