New measures to tackle whiplash fraud announced
Last month the Ministry of Justice announced new measures to tackle the growing issue of whiplash fraud. Whiplash fraud is the most common form of personal injury fraud in the UK as under current legislation fraudsters are able to invent or exaggerate their injuries.
In 2012 it was estimated that insurers paid out around £4,400 in legal and compensation fees for each of the half million whiplash claims recorded.
The new proposals will see the creation of accredited doctor panels which are designed to vet any whiplash claims. By using doctors’ medical knowledge it will now be harder for whiplash cheats to claim as they will need to prove the extent of their injuries.
It is hoped that the creation of accredited doctor panels will begin shortly so that the new system can be operational in early 2014. Many ministers believe the creation of these panels will lower the number of whiplash fraud claims and reduce the cost of motor insurance. However, the Ministry of Justice has categorically stated that the new measures will not affect people who have suffered genuine whiplash injuries.
Tackling the UK’s ‘compensation culture’
The term ‘compensation culture’ was created by David Cameron at a summit last year between insurers and the Government to describe the apparent reliance the UK people have on hand-outs which include fraudulent personal injury claims.
The measures announced by the MoJ are designed to reduce this culture and follow the cut in referral fees paid by lawyers, insurers and claim firms implemented in April this year. The Government also stopped claims firms rewarding customers who use them for a personal injury claim while reducing the amount they can charge for uncontested minor injury claims, down from £1,200 to £500.
Chris Grayling, the Justice Secretary said:
“We are turning the tide on the compensation culture and helping hardworking people by tackling high insurance premiums and other motoring costs. It’s not right that people who cheat the insurance system get away with it while forcing up the price for everyone else – so we are now going after whiplash fraudsters and will keep on driving premiums down.”
If you've suffered genuine whiplash injuries as a result of a road traffic accident, get in touch with us today. The measures are tackling fraudsters and are not aimed at innocent victims, therefore we can still provide you with all the legal help you’ll need and help you get the compensation you deserve.