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Association of Personal Injury Lawyers

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."

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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: jane.hartwell@apil.org.uk, or Ben Yates t: 0115 943 5431, e: ben.yates@apil.org.uk.
  • Visit the association's website at www.apil.org.uk.
  • • Follow @APIL on Twitter: www.twitter.com/APIL.

Past press releases

Lawyers call for outright ban on cold calling for personal injury in Scotland, 01 Jun 2018
APIL, FOIL and MASS join forces for mediation project, 29 May 2018
Grieving relatives cruelly ignored by justice system, 27 Apr 2018
Car insurance injury claims lowest this decade, 23 Apr 2018
Court closure threat to local justice system , 21 Mar 2018
Government washes its hands of injured people, 20 Mar 2018
Cold calling ban: time for Government to deliver, 08 Mar 2018
MPs told: Now is the time to ban cold calling, 22 Jan 2018

More past press releases

Head of Public Affairs
Lorraine Gwinnutt
0115 943 5400
lorraine.gwinnutt@apil.org.uk

Communications Manager
Jane Hartwell
0115 943 5416
jane.hartwell@apil.org.uk

Press & Communications Officer
Lizzy Freeman
0115 943 5431
lizzy.freeman@apil.org.uk