Whiplash awards may be slashed

Posted by Neille Ryan

Partner & Head of Personal Injury

The Government and Insurers continue their assault on innocent victims injured in accidents.

As if they weren’t already making enough money, having announced huge profits in the past few weeks, Insurers continue to influence Government to make it harder and more expensive for the injured to claim compensation, whilst also reducing the amount they receive in damages.

More changes are imminent so that whiplash awards will be slashed to a few hundred pounds and almost no legal costs will be recoverable by a whole cohort of claimants, who  will have to pay themselves out of their damages, or take on the Insurer and their lawyers alone.

Two recent cases show that Courts are not giving much leeway to individuals who try to claim without legal help.

Litigant in person cases

  • Former ski-tour operator Christopher Reynard’s claim for damages was struck out for failing to comply with Court Rules, the High Court refusing to afford him special treatment just because he was a litigant in person.
  • Mark Barton incorrectly served his claim form and the Supreme Court upheld the striking out of his claim, effectively saying that being a litigant in person does not excuse a failure to comply with Court Rules.

So be afraid, be very afraid...

If the Government and Insurers have their way and you are unfortunate enough to be injured in an accident that wasn’t your fault, you face peanuts in compensation, having to pay your own legal costs.

Or you'll have to bring the claim yourself  (Litigant in person) and have to negotiate a system which you will never have come across before against insurers and their lawyers who use it all day, every day.

Unless MPs are made aware of the facts and how they affect real people with real injuries, rather than just towing the party line, then for innocent injured victims it will get worse and worse.  Do not fall into the trap of thinking it will never happen to you, because if it does then it will be too late for you to do anything about it.

I urge anyone to contact their MP to encourage them to contact reputable claimant organisations like the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers and the Motor Accident Solicitors’ Society to find out the truth behind the Insurer’s and Government spin.

 


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