Tackling fraudulent whiplash claims

The government’s Transport Select Committee has published a number of new proposals which are designed to help lower the number of insurance claims made fraudulently, generally for whiplash injuries.

Whiplash Claims

Following a meeting of the committee figures were released which show that personal injury claims following road traffic accidents are continuing to grow, despite the numbers of casualties in such incidents falling.

In 2009-2010, 647,997 personal injury claims were made by those who had been involved in a road traffic accident. This rose to one person short of 791,000 in 2010 and 2011, even though the number of casualties in road accidents fell compared to the previous year.

The committee met to discuss new proposals following rises in the cost of car insurance due to the number of false personal injury claims made each year. Estimates suggest that such claims add £40 each year to the cost of every driver’s insurance.

Following discussions the government released a report detailing the new proposals, which include:

  • Extending the threshold for claims in the road traffic accident personal injury claims protocol from £10,000 to £25,000
  • Reviewing the cost of hiring legal help to work on whiplash claims
  • Tackling uninsured drivers by working with the insurance industry on better access to records

Transport Committee chair Louise Ellman said: “Our work on the cost of motor insurance has put this issue on the Government’s agenda. I am encouraged by the Government’s willingness to tackle fraudulent whiplash claims and insurance fraud, but it’s vital we maintain adequate access to justice and that good intentions must be translated into action.”

However, Ian Cowie of The Telegraph raised a number of concerns about the new proposals. He said that while the tactics could cut motor insurance for drivers they also “raise fears of a Big Brother erosion of drivers’ personal privacy”.

Under the proposals, information about drivers which has been gathered by statutory bodies such as the DVLA – and which motorists are legally obligated to provide – could be given to private sector companies and insurers, which Cowie said could be a worry for some drivers.

Those who have genuinely been injured can make a claim for financial compensation following a whiplash injury, it is just unfortunate that so many who try to defraud the system give it a negative stigma! Precision Claims can help you if you have a legitimate whiplash injury.

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