This week a leading figure in the insurance industry suggested that damages and costs for whiplash injuries should be linked to the time taken to lodge a claim; which would mean penalising clients who leave it until the end of the limitation period to make a claim for compensation.
Speaking at this week’s ABI conference, chief executive of Ageas UK, Andy Watson, said a sliding scale of awards would incentivise claimants to start their cases earlier and ensure insurers can properly analyse evidence of injuries.
Managing Partner at Express Solicitors, James Maxey, comments: “I am absolutely outraged that the insurance industry has made such a statement. Mr Watson also stated that there is ‘too much money sloshing around the PI industry’ which is utterly insulting. Lawyers work hard to ensure that their clients receive the compensation they deserve following a road traffic accident resulting in a whiplash injury. The Government and the insurance industry seem to make our job harder each year. If someone has been injured in an accident through no fault of their own they have to prove the extent of their injuries. This often involves using an experienced medical expert who will assess a client’s injuries and write a detailed report on their prognosis.
“The Limitation Act exists to give a reasonable time frame for clients to make a claim for compensation. Not all clients realise the full extent of their injuries or the impact such an injury may have on them, shortly after an accident. Clients should not be penalised if they take their time to bring a claim for whiplash.
“I’m sure that the majority of insurers would love to further reduce costs and damages in order to increase their already excessive profits. The insurance industry will continue to try and throw obstacles in the way of claimants and blame excessive premiums on ‘fraudulent’ whiplash claims. Yet the amount of whiplash claims being made is decreasing year on year whilst insurance premiums continue to rise.”