Whiplash claimants may soon face higher thresholds

Anyone making a whiplash accident claim in the wake of traffic collision may soon face higher thresholds for their injuries, it was recently reported.

The Government has recently announced it will be setting up an independent expert panel in order to investigate the veracity of suspect whiplash injuries under tough measures designed to eliminate the fraudulent claims that have sent insurance costs rocketing upwards across the country.  Official figures indicate that the number of personal injury compensation claims occurring over the past six years has increased by 70 per cent, and while GPs have said that about 25 per cent of the 600,000 annual whiplash claims are either overdiagnosed or completely fraudulent, around £2 billion is paid out in compensation every year.

Both Transport Secretary Justine Greening and Justice Secretary Kenneth Clarke held a summit in Whitehall last week with an aim towards taking the growing problem head-on, building on the recommendations made by the Commons transport committee earlier this year that whiplash-related claims costs are the biggest culprit in driving up costs for the average motorist.  Ms Greening called the UK the ‘whiplash capital’ of the eurozone due to the number of individuals making claims on injuries that occurred in incidents that were exceedingly minor, indicating that perhaps Brits had the weakest necks in Europe, and Mr Clarke has plans to encourage insurers to bring challenge against claims suspected to be spurious or false by taking steps to ensure a higher number of claims are heard in small claims courts, thus reducing the threat of massive legal costs.

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