Proposed whiplash reforms have been branded ‘naïve’ and ‘profoundly unfair’ by a not-for-profit lawyers’ organisation.
“Removing damages for genuine whiplash cases and making claimants injured at work, on the roads and in hospitals, jump through higher hoops to obtain their compensation, victimises people who have been injured through no fault of their own,” said Neil Sugarman, president of the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL).
“Furthermore, the Government is naïve enough to believe that the savings insurers will make on paying compensation will result in lower insurance premiums.
“Insurance industry figures show quite clearly that the industry has made savings of around £500 million a year since the last round of personal injury reforms three years ago but premiums have actually increased by eight per cent during the same period,” he said.
“Insurers will make the savings and keep them, while vulnerable injured people will subsidise an industry which already makes huge profits for its shareholders.”
“One of the proposals is to limit compensation available for a whiplash injury with symptoms which last for six months to £400,” he said. “That is six months of pain, six months of sleepless nights, six months of not being able to look after young children properly and even, for some, six months without work.
“I would receive almost the same amount if I were travelling from London to Glasgow and my train was delayed by two hours.
“It’s as if people with injuries which should never have happened in the first place are just an inconvenience which can casually be brushed aside.”
Notes to editor:
Mr Sugarman reacts to the Ministry of Justice consultation Reforming the Soft Tissue Injury (“Whiplash”) Claims Process - A consultation on arrangements concerning personal injury claims in England and Wales here.
APIL (Association of Personal Injury Lawyers) is a not-for-profit organisation whose members are dedicated to campaigning for improvements in the law to help people who are injured or become ill through no fault of their own.
For more information contact APIL’s press and communications officer Jane Hartwell on t: 0115 943 5416, out of hours m: 07808 768623, e: firstname.lastname@example.org or assistant press and communications officer Lizzy Freeman on t: 0115 943 5431, e: email@example.com.
Visit the association’s website at www.apil.org.uk.
Follow @APIL on Twitter: www.twitter.com/APIL.