Fall in number of ‘whiplash’ claims

  • Posted

Posted 16/09/2012

Flying in the face of the often hysterical headlines that have become familiar over recent months, statistics provided by the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL) have shown that there has been a fall of almost 24,000 in the number of claims for ‘whiplash’ in 2011/12 as against the previous year.

APIL have also released the results of an independent survey which showed that almost 40% of people with a ‘whiplash’ injury have never claimed compensation for it. As things stand, the government is expected to bulldoze through new plans for reform which opposition campaigners say will deny access to justice for those who need it the most – the innocent victims.

Karl Tonks, president of APIL said it was time to ‘inject some sanity’ into the debate. ‘The government appears to have been persuaded by the insurance industry that the answer to rising car insurance premiums lies in tackling whiplash claims but the government’s own figures show there has been a drop in these claims in the last year’.

Mr Tonks went onto counsel caution saying that: ‘Before the government embarks on a potentially damaging reform agenda, it’s critical that ministers have a clear picture about whiplash and that they recognise that most injured people are genuine and therefore have every right to expect proper access to justice when they need it.’

According to a poll carried out amongst 4,000 members of the public, 1 in 100 people have suffered a whiplash injury in the past year 1 in 5 have suffered symptoms for more than a year, whilst almost a third of those who suffered an injury were actually encouraged to claim compensation by insurance companies and/or arranged for treatment through their healthcare providers – the very same insurers who are now complaining the loudest!

Tom Ranson of Ashtons Legal injury services says: “In our experience, the vast majority of clients would rather have the ‘touch of a healing hand’ and be put back to their pre-accident state of health, than a pocketful of cash and, in a lot of cases, a lifetime of pain and disability. Any attempt to limit or deny genuine accident victims proper independent access to justice is plainly fundamentally wrong and we should all be doing as much as we can to prevent this from happening”.


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