Personal injury news roundup: 7 days ended 6 Aug 2013:
There’s all sorts of changes happening in the personal injury compensation claims industry at the moment, but are any of these new changes actually beneficial?
Well, I suppose that really depends on how you define ‘beneficial,’ doesn’t it? For instance, it might be a relief to car insurance companies that are reeling from an onslaught of what they like to call the ‘compensation culture’ in the UK, but if you ask me it’s just going to put personal injury solicitors out of a job and reduce access to justice for those who need it the most.
If you’re not familiar with what’s going on, there are new rules that change how claimants can use the Claims Portal, an online facility for settling work accident claims or injuries that occurred in public places. If you’ve got a ‘low value’ claim you can use the Portal instead of going through the courts – it’s a way to avoid legal fees and benefits insurers more than anyone else, since they don’t have to worry about no win no fee solicitors knocking on their doors when they settle with a claimant.
Of course, the ‘low value’ claim for road traffic accidents used to be set at £10,000. That is more or less low value, though ask someone in need of £10,000 whether they value the cash little or not; however the new rules now call for a maximum threshold of £25,000 – more than double!
So now we’re supposed to let insurers just run roughshod over us? £25,000 isn’t a little bit of change, you know – it’s a major amount, no matter how you slice it. This is going to do nothing but line insurers’ pockets even more, since they don’t have to be held as accountable as they needed to before this – it’s a bad move for what it’s worth.
Speaking of insurers and bad moves, a group of MPs have caved to pressure placed on them by the insurance industry and called for more stringent rules for bringing whiplash injury claims. Insurers hate whiplash claims because they’re so hard to disprove, and have no doubt been lobbying the Transport Select Committee long and hard to make it harder for a claimant to prove whiplash injury so they can spend less time handing out cash to the injured and more time thinking up ways to destroy the will to live of all of their customers.
Seriously, can we just admit that these insurers make money hand over fist and that they’re just a bunch of greedy bastards?