Whiplash: a made up injury?
At a conference of the Motor Accident Solicitors Society (MASS) earlier this month, James Dalton, the head of the Association of British Insurers (ABI), suggested there was no such thing as a whiplash injury. He went on to say that a claimant could not prove s/he had neck pain, therefore an insurer has difficulty disputing it.
Is Mr Dalton saying all claimants with whiplash injuries are making it up? Are they all liars and fraudsters? He suggested raising the small claims limit to as much as £5,000 (approximately two years of neck pain) from the current £1,000 (about one month of neck pain). He suggested not awarding any money for pain and suffering for whiplash injuries.
Many people who have not been involved in accidents might be sympathetic to that view. Daytime advertising and seemingly large awards for apparently minor injuries have further damaged the reputation of lawyers in this field.
Michael Wangermann, a personal injury specialist at Ashtons Legal who attended the conference, says: “The Government is being persuaded by insurers that removing independent legal advice for injured claimants who have smaller road traffic claims will lower the cost of motor insurance. However I have seen time and time again that when whiplash affects a client, or one of their loved ones, for the first time, they want and need our independent advice and guidance.”Find out more about our Personal Injury services.
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