The Government has discarded the principle of full and fair redress for people injured through no fault of their own, lawyers say as the Civil Liability Bill clears its remaining stages in the House of Commons.
“Contrary to what ministers claim, the Government has made it clear that it doesn’t care about injured people, no matter how devastating the injuries,” said Brett Dixon, president of the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL) a not-for-profit campaign group for injured people.
The Bill alters how compensation is calculated for people with life-long care needs from injuries such as severe brain or spinal damage, with a view to cutting the size of payments by insurance companies. It also seeks to cut compensation radically for people with whiplash injuries.
“Insurance companies’ profit margins are obviously more important to the Government,” said Mr Dixon.
“100 per cent redress is the cornerstone of the justice system for people who fall victim to negligence. The Government has paid lip service to the principle of full compensation throughout this debate but has consistently failed to deliver. It does not care about the repercussions for real people, or it would have listened to the evidence,” he went on.
“It has been utterly determined to make these reforms happen since being seduced by insurance industry rhetoric. Genuine injured people at either end of the scale have been vilified for the sake of saving a supposed £35 on each premium.
“Hard-working, genuine motorists whom ministers and insurers claim to represent will find their compulsory insurance cover will not be sufficient when they need it,” he said.