Government curbs to whiplash injury compensation claims have failed to deliver cheaper car insurance premiums as promised, lawyers have told a parliamentary inquiry.
“Policyholders’ legal rights have been severely curtailed, and they’re not even getting anything in return,” said Jonathan Scarsbrook, president of the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL) a not-for-profit campaign group which represents victims of negligence.
“The Government abandoned any concept of fairness or compassion for injured people with its reforms, all in the name of saving £35 on a premium. But actually, since the changes were introduced in 2021, motorists are paying 41 per cent more for their motor insurance*,” he went on.
“People with genuine whiplash injuries are being under-compensated. Someone who suffers up to three months of pain and disruption to their lives because of the negligence of another driver can claim only £240 in atonement for their suffering. They would receive more compensation for the inconvenience of a three-hour flight delay,” he explained.
The House of Commons Justice Select Committee is holding an inquiry into the effectiveness of the reforms, which were implemented through the Civil Liability Act 2018.
“It is not a surprise that the reforms have failed,” said Mr Scarsbrook. “They were wholly unfair from the start. Insurance companies have made healthy financial savings at the expense of injured people and those savings are not being passed on to consumers.
“The Government’s aim to reduce the number of whiplash claims would have been laudable had it tried to achieve it by preventing injuries from happening in the first place. Cutting the rights of those who are injured is unjust and completely misguided,” he said.