24 Dec 2019
How will the Whiplash Reforms affect Insurers, Solicitors and Claimants?
Last year, the Civil Liability Act announced several changes that will drastically alter how whiplash claims are handled from April 2020. The government believes that there has been a rise in fraudulent and exaggerated RTA claims, which is why the reforms have been set in motion as a deterrent. Unfortunately, the statistics surrounding fraudulent cases are not straightforward, and it is also believed that the true figure for false claims is actually minimal. Some critics have argued that these reforms will have an adverse effect on those with legitimate claims.
We’re taking a closer look at how exactly the whiplash reforms will affect insurers, solicitors, claimants and our work here at Speed Medical.
How will the whiplash reforms affect Claimants?
For claims under £5000, the government plans to create a new online claims portal so the injured party can make their own claim without the help of a solicitor. This means claimants will be pitted against the defendant, who will have an insurer with funding and access to legal advice. In removing the claimants’ lawyer, the government believes this will reduce ‘compensation culture’, trusting that insurers will treat claimants equally and won’t seek to make money for their shareholders.
Road Traffic Accidents are both physically and psychologically harmful, often resulting in a great deal of pain and distress. The likely outcome of the whiplash reforms will mean insurance companies may save money. However, legitimate claimants will have their damages reduced to a minimal amount as they will have a lack of legal representation in lower value claims. Ultimately, the whiplash reforms will place unrepresented claimants at a significant disadvantage.
How will the whiplash reforms affect Solicitors?
With the Conservatives’ recent election landslide victory, it looks even more likely that the Civil Liability Act will be implemented, causing a drastic effect on solicitors. As solicitors have been criticised for encouraging fraudulent and exaggerated claims, some believe that the reforms will wipe out false cases, while others believe it will deprive hundreds of thousands of genuine claimants. Most are in agreement that the introduction of the whiplash reforms will drastically impact the industry, resulting in a reduced number of instructions for solicitors.
How will the whiplash reforms affect Speed Medical?
Here at Speed Medical, we’re gearing up to the whiplash reforms coming into effect in April 2020. We know in order to meet the requirements of an ever-evolving industry, we need to adapt. As solicitors may be removed from the process on the claimant’s side, we’re taking a look over our current offering to create a more diverse, customer-focused and user-friendly range of services.