Association of Personal Injury Lawyers
A not-for-profit organisation representing injured people

Government's 'whiplash' reforms miss the mark, MPs told

07 Feb 2017
APIL news

An influential committee of MPs heard today (Tuesday) that "the Government is looking down the wrong end of the telescope" in its proposals for personal injury claims reform.

Neil Sugarman, president of the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL) defended the right of injured people to claim full and fair compensation in his evidence to the House of Commons Justice Select Committee.

He called instead for a greater focus on prevention of needless injuries and a ban on cold calling for personal injury claims, accusing the Government of "tinkering around the edges" and having "no appetite" to clamp down on intrusive nuisance calls which generate the perception of easy money.

"We are fundamentally opposed to the restriction of damages," he said. "One wonders whether you would have a different view if you were the person who had been injured."

Mr Sugarman also expressed his fundamental opposition to proposals to force thousands more injured people into a small claims court where many will be forced to represent themselves against well-funded and experienced insurance companies.

"These arguments are all predicated on an assumption that society is out to make money out of compensation claims," he said.

"The small claims court is designed primarily for small consumer disputes. It was never designed for disputes about bodily integrity. You have to prove the fact that you've been injured and make legal arguments about the value of your claim. These are difficult skills.

"People will be up against skilled insurance companies whose only duty is to minimise costs to insurers."


Notes to editors:

  • 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 officers Jane Hartwell on t: 0115 943 5416, e:, or Ben Yates t: 0115 943 5431, e:
  • Visit the association's website at
  • • Follow @APIL on Twitter:

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Head of Public Affairs
Lorraine Gwinnutt
0115 943 5400

Communications Manager
Jane Hartwell
0115 943 5416

Press & Communications Officer
Lizzy Freeman
0115 943 5431