RTA rates go down in 2011, yet injury claims increase

While the number of road traffic accidents declined again last year, the number of personal injury claims involving RTAs has gone up, according to insurance industry analysts.

Research says that Brits drove less last year in in an effort to reduce the amount of cash they had to spend on petrol, with the knock-on effect being that there were 11 per cent fewer injurious car accidents in 2011. However, the number of car accident claims related to road accidents did not follow this trend but actually increased by 18 per cent, indicating that a growing number of those involved in RTAs are looking for personal injury compensation – with whiplash claims being one of the most common.

If these trends continue over the course of 2012 and beyond, the results could be disastrous for not just the insurance industry but the motoring public, as a projected cost increase of £400 million annually for insurers would mean even more premium price increases for motorists as insurers seek to recover their increased costs from their policyholders.  However, there is currently legislation being considered by the government that could lead to a cap being placed on the amount law firms and claims management companies can be paid for representing personal injury clients by banning ‘success fees’ from being paid by the losing side and instead requiring law firms to take their payment from the compensation payouts of their clients.

Such a plan could curb rampant ‘ambulance chasing’ behaviour that many have accused the personal injury law community of engaging in, experts say, which drives up claims volume to the point of bringing spurious or even fraudulent injury claims.

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