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Whiplash Compensation Claims Crackdown Will Rob Victims

Posted on Monday 21st November 2016 by Adrian Cormack

Whiplash is a dirty word. Until you suffer one – then you’re in excruciating, debilitating agony.

But few people care. Mention whiplash and you’ll get eye-rolls from those who’ve never seen its true impact.Personal injury solicitor Adrian Cormack, a Partner at Coles Miller

Our road accident solicitors see 10-15 whiplash compensation claims a month. They witness the victims’ months of suffering; go through detailed medical reports on the neurological damage.

Some victims – particularly older drivers and passengers – may suffer chronic symptoms. Life-affecting career-damaging pain for the rest of their days.

But try telling that to the government.

Ministers are in full cost-cutting mode at the behest of the powerful insurance lobby. They plan to wipe out claims under £5,000 by making legal costs irrecoverable.

Suffered a whiplash? Who will pay for your physiotherapy, rehabilitation and lost earnings when the insurers refuse?

Whiplash compensation is not about petty mollification or a quick buck. Many victims need months of treatment to stop their condition from becoming chronic.

And most of the media are not asking enough questions because they can’t see further than the spurious mantra being touted by Whitehall: “£40 off premiums for the average motorist”.

We’ll believe that when we see it. 

Why so cynical? We went through all this a few years ago when the insurance industry persuaded the government to change the law.

It reduced the costs that insurers had to pay – meaning that claimants now lose up to 25 per cent of their damages.

Did premiums fall by a quarter? No, they carried on rising.

And now the government is falling for it again because of its vested interest: cutting the justice bill.

It’s hard to convince someone to understand when their pen-pushing job depends on them not understanding.

These appalling government cuts will affect ALL personal injury claims below £5,000 – not just whiplash.

That is hugely wide-ranging and it will rob millions of people of justice. It is effectively a perpetrators’ charter.

If the government were truly serious about cutting questionable claims then it should ban telephone cold calling.

That’s where the real problem lies. These call centres are the real villains long overdue for tougher regulation.

Not the poor genuine injury victims who have suffered quite enough already.

For more information, contact Coles Miller Partner Adrian Cormack, Head of the Personal Injury Department, 01202 355695.

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