New Whiplash Laws could Persecute the Victims
Walker Preston Solicitors
Motorist’s premiums in the UK will decrease dramatically if proposed tighter whiplash rules and regulations are enforced. This is the opinion of the UK’s biggest insurer: Aviva.
However the regulations have been met with widespread criticism, suggesting that changing the law could leave the victim in a vulnerable position.
The new regulations have been designed to decrease the number of superfluous whiplash claims that are made. The changes could stand to save the average motorist £60 a year. Aviva has called for law changes to come into force wherein victims would be forced to put their claims directly to the insurer of guilty party.
The Association of Personal Injury Lawyers revealed: “Putting the injured person entirely in the hands of the guilty party’s insurer would create a profound conflict of interest. Independent advice is key to preventing such a conflict and ensuring a fair outcome for the injured person.”
Whiplash accounts for 80% of injury claims that are made in the UK. Subsequently, insurance premiums have been forced to rise to cover the escalating costs. The costs can be further escalated because of the dues paid to breakdown firms, brokers and even to the insurers.
However, the victim of a crash may find the prospect of dealing directly with an insurance company daunting and difficult. The law which is supposed to protect the public may effectively punish citizens.
It is necessary to balance the rights of the victim with the accuracy of the claims process. The government has already implemented law changes to lower the number of falsified claims. Referral fees paid by lawyers and claims management firms will be banned later this year and a limit will be placed upon legal fees. It is hoped that these steps will save all motorists a considerable amount of money.
Aviva’s proposition would include the victim receiving independent clinical advice.
Dominic Clayden, claims director at Aviva, claimed: “Our primary concerns are that injured parties receive care and compensation as quickly as possible, and that all motorists benefit from a reduction in the excessive costs that have built up in claims over the past few years.”
There are roughly 550,000 whiplash claims made every year in the UK. Aviva claims that 300,000 of these cases could be dealt with more efficiently with the proposed law changes. The proposal does not include any repercussions for parties found guilty of making falsified or superfluous whiplash claims.