Why did David Cameron exclude personal injury solicitors from the recent summit on the increased cost of motor insurance?
Last Tuesday, the PM met with leading insurance firms and the Association of British Insurers to discuss the personal injury compensation culture that has sprung up in the UK. Currently, around 1,500 claims for whiplash are made on a daily basis. Mr Cameron believes that is far too many and he wants the figure reduced.
The Law Society wrote to the PM back in January asking him to engage with the legal profession, but it was still excluded from this latest summit.
Desmond Hudson, the chief executive of the Law Society, said he was disappointed that the government had chosen to ignore his offer to work alongside the coalition to address public concerns over personal injury claims for whiplash.
Government, insurers, solicitors and others all have opinions on this matter and the coalition should not limit its discussion to just one group, especially one as biased as insurers.
Downing Street released a press statement in advance of the meeting saying that whiplash claims cost insurers £2 billion every year. After the summit, the PM said insurers had committed to adjusting premiums to reflect any lowering of legal costs once civil litigation reforms have been passed.
The government also promised to reduce the fee that personal injury lawyers earn from dealing with small value claims. Insurers again vowed to pass these savings on to their customers.
When it comes to whiplash claims, there are plans to implement a minimum speed requirement before a claim can be made and to require better medical evidence of injuries sustained in an accident. No date was set for the implementation of these requirements, but No.10 said we would see progress in the next few months.