As many of you may know, in April 2013 the legislation regarding Personal Injury law is changing. Claimants will no longer be entitled to 100% compensation and will have to pay a percentage of their legal fees. One of the reasons the Government has put forward to explain these new regulations, is to help reduce the ‘numerous fraudulent whiplash claims bumping up the price of car insurance.’ However, out of the 547,405 whiplash claims last year, only 250 were considered to be fraudulent. Out of that 250, only 7 people actually got convicted for fraudulent whiplash claims and overall whiplash claims dropped by 24,000 as reported in the Annual Whiplash Report by APIL (Association of Personal Injury Lawyers).
Before the changes were finally announced by the Government, the Insurance Industry and the ABI were quoting that changes to costs recovered from insurers would save between £60.00 and £90.00 on the average premium.
One insurer (LV) has now stated that once the new legislation is in place they only expect that the changes will in fact reduce car insurance premiums by 3%. This is a far cry from the original figure of a reduction of £60-£90, unless of course the average car premium is £2,000!
Furthermore, it can be pointed that insurance companies themselves are to blame for the ever rising premiums. Recently Express Solicitors partner, Rachel Flannigan, got a result back from court whereby the insurance company ‘LV’ had completely failed to deal with a case despite a police report giving evidence to confirm that their driver was to blame for the accident. In fact, LV failed to get solicitors to deal with the proceedings and so the case ended up going to a hearing. At the hearing, the injured client was awarded over £3,350 in damages beating an offer of £2,750. Due to the fact that this case had to go to a hearing, Express Solicitors costs were £13,000, whereas, had LG dealt with the case properly Express’ costs would have only been £1,200 in the portal. Consequently, because of their poor conduct LG had to pay ten times more than they could have done should they have dealt with the claim promptly. Rachel Flannigan states that this case is far from unique which is surprising when insurance companies are quick to point the finger at personal injury lawyers for rising premiums.
It can be assumed that the changes in legislation due come into effect on April 1st 2013, will only be beneficial for the insurance industry. Innocent victims of road traffic accidents will lose out on their much deserved compensation and car insurance premiums will only continue to rise!
If you have been injured in a Road Traffic Accident, Express Solicitors urge you to come forward before April 1st 2013 so that you will still receive 100% compensation.
For free legal advice or help with a compensation claim please ring Express Solicitors today on 0800 158 5274.