On the 17 November 2016, the Ministry of Justice published a consultation on proposals to reduce the number of whiplash claims. The ‘Reforming the soft tissue injury (whiplash) claims process’ consultation can be read here.
The closing date for responses was 6th January 2017 and you can read MASS’ full response here.
These proposals will fundamentally impact on the ability of accident victims to seek redress and justice.
The proposals are:
- Scrap compensation entirely for more minor soft tissue injuries, including whiplash, arising from road traffic accidents or put a cap on the amount people can claim for minor whiplash injuries to a maximum amount of £425
- Raising the limit for cases in the small claims court for all personal injury claims from £1,000 to £5,000
- Introduce a low, more rigid tariff system of compensation payments for claims with more significant injuries
- Banning offers to settle claims without medical evidence.
MASS believes that these proposed measures are grossly unfair, disproportionate and will prevent accident victims from seeking the redress and justice they deserve. Far from combating fraud the proposals could end up encouraging more fraudulent claims. There is also little or no evidence that motor insurance premium customers will see a reduction in their premiums, with insurance companies likely to keep any limited savings.
In collaboration with other representative organisations of accident victims, MASS is working hard to develop our case to fight these proposals and will be robustly setting out our views in response to the consultation.
We believe that it is still not too late for the Government to take stock and allow the industry to come forward with a fairer and more proportionate programme to tackle fraudulent claims. Past cross-industry initiatives have demonstrated that so much more can be achieved by dialogue. The sector should be given time to discuss areas of possible common agreement.
What can you do?
We strongly encourage you to contact your local MP and make them aware of these proposals and their potentially damaging impact on accident victims and the ability of solicitors to provide independent, professional legal advice.
If you would like further information, or would like to find out how you can help fight this injustice, please contact us.