Corries Solicitors - Personal Injury Specialists - FREEPHONE 0800 655 6550
Huge changes to the law could massively affect victims of ALL accidents in the future if the insurance industry get their way.
Insurance industry campaigns promising massive reductions in car insurance premiums with whiplash and other reform are being carefully looked at by the Government.Your rights after ANY injury could be massively affected
Whiplash – the £ and the penny
Media campaigns suggest whiplash claims are costing every motorist large sums in extra premiums each year. Insurers have suggested that changes in the law to bring down compensation to almost 25% of the current level could mean average savings of £50 per year
Another review at the time of the Queens speech suggest this was in fact £35.
Campaigning group A2J have digested the figures and suggest this could be as low as £16. They have taken into account the savings divided by the 28 million motorists insuring each year. See the link here:-
The cost of injury claims to motor insurers has dropped by 10% (£263m) year-on-year, according to ABI figures. Vehicle repair claims costs hit a record high in the last quarter.
Small claims – The battleground
Currently if your case is worth less than £1000 your solicitor cannot recover costs for bringing the claim.
Using the same whiplash publicity the insurance industry is also seeking to change the small claims limit. First of all they seek an increase to £5000. This would mean about 90% of cases would fall under this limit. Therefore this means victims would have to pay lawyers out of their claim or agree a damages based agreement (DBA). Consequently they will be worse off than they are at the moment under current rules.
The House of Commons justice committee is to review the reform plans. They are seeking any additional input before 22nd December 2017.
The article commenting on it is here https://www.lawgazette.co.uk/news/mps-to-examine-potential-impact-of-small-claims-increase/5063994.article
What can we expect?
The Lord Chancellor has already said that the small claim limit will rise.
If this goes up to £5000 then the landscape for compensation vicitms for all accidents will be massively affected.
We think the law should be left alone or a very modest raise in the small claim limit be imposed. The reaons for this are:-
- The vast majority of accident victims do not know how to or would be willing to make a claim without a lawyer
- Because in our experience our clients tell us they do not think insurers will deal fairly with them if they have no lawyer
- Victims are less likely to use the court system if they feel they are not properly dealt with or compensation and;
- Those that do face the daunting prospect of trying to put their case over in court which in due course;
- Will lead to the suffocating of the court system which is already overloaded following court closures and the withdrawal of legal aid meaning many family and other civil claims are taking place with unrepresented parties.
This is a government which has spent the last seven years listening much more to insurers than victims of accidents or disease. Because of this we adopt the measures proposed by the Access to Justice (A2J) campaign.
A copy of their proposed response is here https://accesstojusticeactiongroup.co.uk/acf/
The simple question to ponder is this:-
If you are injured in an accident and need compensation – who is more likely to act in your best interests? The insurance company paying out – or the lawyer fighting for you?
The myth of the compensation culture has been dealt with by various studies recently – here is one …https://www.apil.org.uk/myths-about-compensation.
At Corries we are doing as much as we can to oppose great change. We are keeping a close eye on and are making representations for victims of all accidents. We shall keep you informed. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter for news. While we cannot promise anything we will fight for you and your interests and those of all accident victims.
If you or a passenger have been injured in an accident in the last three years then call our friendly team now on 0800 655 6550