Did I miss something? The Chancellor’s Autumn statement…
It came from nowhere and makes a mockery of justice for the injured. I am incensed.
It rides roughshod over everything we are doing to date to improve costs and reduce fraud in whiplash claims.
Medco are looking to accredit 1000 medics in 2016 who may never be needed to do an expert report on soft tissue injuries again. To place these cases in the small claims court removes all checks and balances for fraudulent and spurious claims.
It rides roughshod over the effective system of online dispute resolution that is the Claims Portal - emptying it of the majority of claims, and instead filling up the courts.
It rides roughshod over the basic principle of holding the wrongdoer to account - you could injure someone negligently with no consequences. We would live in a world where you get compensation if your train is half an hour late, but not if someone carelessly crashes into you and leaves you in pain for months.
It rides roughshod over the value of legal advice - lawyers ensure only justified cases proceed, screen out poor cases, and fight so that those injured get the right amount of damages - not too much, not too little. Now those injured will be expected to fight their cases without help or advice, against big insurers.
It is, however, a business opportunity for claims management companies, who can offer to organise a claim on an injured person’s behalf, much like they have for PPI claimants, for a handsome cut. We could have an explosion of unsolicited calls and texts to look forward to.
How does this affect current government reforms to introduce fixed costs in claims against the NHS? Are such claims now also to be directed to the small claims court if they are worth less than £5000?
Big proposals. Big issues. Yet so far, little attention from the media because the proposals are buried under headline grabbing issues. Fundamental reforms sneaking in through the back door. This isn't justice.