MoJ want medical panel solution approved by July 2014
As part of the UK Government's crackdown on insurance fraud, the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) has announced that it will launch a new working group, with the mission to create a solution for the implementation of medical panels that they hope will tackle bogus whiplash claims.
The announcement of a new working group was revealed last month at the first of three roundtable discussions hosted by Justice Minister Shailesh Vara. The roundtable event was attended by representatives of The Law Society, the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers, the Association of British Insurers, the Motor Accident Solicitors Society, the British Medical Association, the Association of Medical Reporting and the British Personal Injuries Bar Association.
Back in October 2013, the MoJ announced plans to tackle whiplash fraud by implementing doctor panels after it was revealed that in 2012 insurers paid out around £4,400 in compensation fees to each of the 500,000 whiplash claims recorded.
The new working group – which is expected to have fashioned a solution for the implementation of these panels by July – has been told that these medical panels will handle road traffic accident claims up to the value of £5,000.
How will these medical panels help reduce insurance fraud?
The MoJ is keen to implement these medical panels as currently many whiplash claims are made without any party having any prior medical knowledge, making it easier for claimants to prove injuries. By using doctors’ knowledge, these panels will make it harder for whiplash fraudsters to prove the extent of their injuries.
However, the MoJ has been quick alleviate concerns that these new medical panels will have a detrimental effect on genuine claimants, categorically stating that these changes are designed to tackle bogus claimants and are not aimed at people genuinely left injured by a road traffic accident.
The MoJ and their working group met early last week to discuss the introduction of the medical panels and the MoJ hope that these panels can start to be implemented across the country from as early as August 2014 - the original deadline was early 2015.
Speaking about how quickly the MoJ wants these panels set up, David Johnson, president of the Forum of Insurance Lawyers, said:
"The government's previous statement concerning ‘going at it at a pace' was reflected in the discussions we had and whilst there's no fixed timetable, the intention to deliver in 2014 is still alive".
At Fonseca Law we specialise in helping genuine victims of road traffic accidents. If you've suffered a personal injury and need legal advice, contact us today. We can help you win the compensation you’re entitled to.