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Whiplash Threatens To Claim Another Victim...Justice

Posted on Monday 12th August 2013 by Adrian Cormack

There are two kinds of motorist. Those who have had whiplash and those who have not.Adrian Cormack - Partner, Coles Miller

Unfortunately some cynics extend that breakdown to whiplash claimants. But the problem of fraud has been grossly exaggerated.

Anyone who has suffered whiplash will tell you how incredibly painful it is, how it can go on for months and totally disrupt your life.

Imagine all the agony of a sprained ankle but in your neck. For days. Possibly weeks. Sometimes – in rare cases – it can last for six months or even become a permanent condition.

All because a careless driver rammed your car from behind while you were patiently waiting in a queue of traffic.

It’s no secret the insurance industry has a problem with fraudulent or overstated whiplash claims. Nor that motorists are paying higher insurance premiums as a result.

But punishing innocent whiplash victims by forcing up the claims threshold to £5,000 is not the answer. It sweeps aside the average motorist’s access to legal representation.

And it’s not just the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers that says so.

The Commons Transport Select Committee is unhappy about the Ministry of Justice plan to cut compensation claims by upping the ante to £5,000.

Access to justice “is likely to be impaired,” says the highly influential cross-party committee.

It will hit “people who do not feel confident to represent themselves in what will seem to some a complex and intimidating process.”

So the message from the 11-strong committee of MPs is clear. Genuine whiplash victims need help. And they won’t get it if the government prices justice out of reach.

Are you being stigmatised for daring to complain about whiplash? Tell us your experiences. We’re good listeners.

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