Warning over changes to whiplash claims

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PERSONAL injury claims are likely to become the next PPI, according to a law expert.

Oliver Jeffcott, solicitor at BL Claims Solicitors, in Com pass Road, North Harbour, Portsmouth, argues that the insurance companies will be the real winners, not motorists or injured parties, on the back of a national consultation looking at reforming the soft tissue injury claims process that closed last week.

He said: ‘The proposal to reform the soft tissue injury process is another example of the government riding roughshod over the rights of injured people.

‘They are proposing to pass some of the savings on to motorists (in the form of reduced insurance premiums) but no mind is given to the effect on pedestrians, children and cyclists who are likely to have compensation removed or reduced if they suffer injuries.

‘They’ll be unable to rely on solicitors representing them where their injuries are worth less than £5,000 as many will have vacated the market.

‘Claimants will then be expected to bring cases themselves or via claims management companies who do not have the expertise to do so. This is likely to lead to significant access to justice issues for many injured people.

‘To add insult to injury, the government is not proposing to pass on all the savings to consumers – they estimate that £80m will end up in the pockets of insurance companies.

‘Personal injury is likely to become the “new PPI” with claim management companies entering the market in droves with aggressive telemarketing campaigns encouraging people to make a claim.’