Whiplash crackdown begins

Government plans to take a hard line on controversial whiplash 'epidemic'

Posted: 11 December 2012
by Visordown News

Justice Secretary Chris Grayling

THE UK GOVERNMENT has announced plans to reduce the number of whiplash claims made on British roads, many of which are false or exaggerated. 

Justice Secretary Chris Grayling has announced a consultation on creating new independent medical panels to improve diagnosis of whiplash injuries. They hope to improve expertise on whiplash and make it easier to challenge those that flout the rules and exaggerate or fabricate a claim, whilst ensuring that those who are genuinely injured are correctly compensated.

Figures show an astonishing 60 percent rise in personal injury claims related to road accidents since 2006, despite a 20 percent reduction in reported accidents over the same period. 

James Dalton, head of motor and liability at the Association of British Insurers, said: 'We are pleased that the Government recognises that tough action is needed to protect honest motorists from the UK's whiplash epidemic.

'For too long, whiplash has been seen as the 'fraud of choice.'

'Our roads are safer, yet every day over 1,500 whiplash claims are made.'

According to Moneysupermarket.com, false whiplash claims add roughly £90 to a typical car insurance policy (£2 billion overall.)

Although the problem is well acknowledged, an alternative view is that insurers themselves are responsible for the rise in premiums - in 2011, former Home Secretary Jack Straw lifted the lid on a culture of unscrupulousness within the insurance industry, highlighting the complex and questionable relationship between insurers, lawyers and claims companies. 

His report proved that insurers were selling the details of reported incidents on to claims companies, pocketing lucrative referral fees. The victims were then bombarded with offers to manage their 'claim' (often 'whiplash'), promising significant 'no win no fee' returns. Parlimentary under-secretary for Justice Jonathan Djanogly described the resulting spike in claims as a 'sick, suing culture', which is driving up premiums as insurers pass the cost of the rising number of spurious claims (referred by them) onto the consumer. 

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Discuss this story

Not before time!

Posted: 11/12/2012 at 14:19

Perhaps incidence of neck injuries has increased because car drivers have finally started looking over their shoulders for motorcyclists before changing lanes!

Posted: 11/12/2012 at 14:42

"Justice Secretary Chris Grayling has announced a consultation"
In other words they're going to do what they always do and TALK about the problem. Probably for years. Then do nothing.
I suppose, to be fair one of the major problems with whiplash is that, as far as I know, it's virtually impossible to prove or disprove, hence why a lot of rip-off merchants are getting away with completely fictional claims.
Enough cynicism, let's hope they actually do do something this time, as this problem seems to be out of control, and I'm sick of getting ripped off by insurance companies every year.

Posted: 11/12/2012 at 17:22

Simple solution: insurers should pay only have to pay for or re-imburse medical treatments directly, rather than put cash in hand. Watch the claims just evaporate.

Too simple of course, instead we'll add another eleventy layers of Ombusdmen and Watchdogs and Tzars, oh my, and all at our expense.

Posted: 11/12/2012 at 19:32

When my wife was involved in a bump in the car we were bombarded with calls for weeks asking if she was 'quite sure' that she was uninjured. It got to the point that I started telling them to leave us alone.

The car was written off on damage that you couldn't even see without squinting - not even a cracked piece of glass.

No wonder the insurance is going through the roof.

Posted: 11/12/2012 at 22:13

My wife, hit the car in front at slow speed. Cost to repair the bumper at a main dealer £600. Cost with suspicous whiplash claim £4700. The guy was a off duty copper?????

The physio we have at work, said he nearly lost his job once when he refused to treat people sent by the insurance companies with made up injuries.

Everyone is taking a slice out of every accident, real or not.

Posted: 12/12/2012 at 22:24

It's self perpetuating, people feel they are being robbed by insurance companies and any chance to claw some money back is quite appealing. I'm not condoning it by any means but the governament created this situation when trying to take the burden of the legal aid system which probably cost the tax payer a lot less than they are now paying for motor insurance. The government need to sort this mess out with well thought out legislation not just knee-jerk reactions.

Posted: 21/12/2012 at 16:36

Lol nice one. Most car drivers just don't have a clue a bout bikers. My be it's time thay had a harder driving test

Posted: 21/01/2013 at 21:08

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