People injured in traffic accidents are to be robbed of fair compensation in the deluded belief that insurance premiums will fall as a result, lawyers said in response to Government proposals for personal injury in its Prisons and Courts Bill unveiled by the Justice Secretary today.
“Data from the insurance industry* shows that since 2013, the annual cost of motor-related personal injury claims has fallen by £536million yet insurance premiums have continued to rise,” said Neil Sugarman, president of the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL) a national not-for-profit group which represents injured people.
“Expensive motor repairs and repeated hikes in insurance premium tax are both major factors in the cost of motor premiums, yet the Government is fanatical about supressing the right to claim for legitimate injuries instead,” he said.
“The Prisons and Courts Bill includes proposals for fixed tariffs which will inevitably mean people with genuine injuries are under-compensated.”
And Mr Sugarman warned that proposals to force more claims into the small claims court system will mean nuisance calls and texts about personal injury claims will reach ‘epidemic’ proportions.
“There will be an explosion of calls and texts from claims management companies encouraging people to make personal injury claims, even if they haven’t been injured,” he said.
“The small claims court is designed for people to represent themselves and this will just be a business opportunity for claims management companies, which make the cold calls and texts, who will tout for claims just as they do for people who were mis-sold payment protection insurance,” Mr Sugarman explained.
“The fact is the Government should put its energy into banning cold calls and texts altogether.”