A survey from the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries (IFoA) has found that the legal costs for making third party whiplash-type injury claims has fallen by 65%.
According to the IFoA, the introduction of the Legal Aid Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2013 has not only led to a reduction in the cost of legal fees, but also a reduction in the cost of making a genuine whiplash claim. The introduction of the act has also led to a decrease in the number of bogus claims throughout the UK.
The IFoA findings show that the cost of whiplash-type bodily injury claims has fallen by 19%, with the frequency of the claims also dropping by 12% from the previous year.
Capped third party injury claims were also reduced as a result of the reforms. According to the report the average cost of a capped third party injury claim fell by 5%, representing the first reduction since 2006. In total there was an overall reduction of 14% in the cost of capped injury claims from the previous year.
David Brown, one of the authors of the IFoA report, said: "The effect of legal changes such as Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act continues to be felt across the industry.
"This has not just meant a reduction in legal costs, but, at least for now, fewer claims being brought forward"
Despite the success of the Legal Aid Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act in reducing the number of claims, the government are set to clamp down further in order to reduce the number of fraudulent personal injury claims.
Government reforms will aim to ban any personal injury claim being settled without a medical assessment taking place to investigate the legitimacy of the injury.
Although the 2013 reforms have been relatively successful in reducing the number of claims, the managing director of the AA Janet Connor welcomed the proposed move from the government to have claims backed up by medical professionals. She said that medical evidence being required “Would put off those looking for an easy cash win, but would not discourage those with a genuine injury.”
Last year 90% of those who required compensation for their whiplash injury had medical proof backing up their personal injury claim.
The findings from the IFoA survey benefit those who are genuinely injured in a road traffic accident and suffer from whiplash as a result of negligence, with reduced legal costs aiding those wishing to make a claim. Insurance premiums for motorists are also down by 10% from the previous year due to a reduction in the number of fraudulent claims.
The government reforms have been criticised by some for trying to punish those wishing to make a genuine claim by adding a stigma to the idea of a whiplash injury. At Lawford Kidd we understand that although whiplash often receives negative press, it is a serious injury. If you have suffered as a result of someone’s negligence you should be able to hold whoever is responsible to account and make a claim without fear.
According to an NHS study it takes, on average, 32 days to recover if you are suffering from whiplash, however 20% of all those who suffer from whiplash will still experience soreness and aches from their injury up to a year later. Whiplash can cause headaches and make life difficult by limiting mobility. Furthermore, whiplash often leads to additional issues such as depression, anxiety and other stress related problems.
Evidence from the Association for Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL) found that in 2012, 1 in 100 people in the UK suffered from whiplash, with 40% of sufferers not claiming compensation. Research found that 47% of those who did make a compensation claim downplayed the extent of their injuries as they did not want to make a fuss, despite the vast majority having medical proof the the extent of the seriousness of their injury.
Although Britain has one of the lowest accident rates in the world, serious accidents cost the UK up to £40 billion a year. Whiplash is the most common injuries sustained in the UK however most victim of whiplash suffer through no fault of your own. If you have been involved in an accident that was not your fault, and suffered whiplash, or any injury, you may be able to make a claim.
Our team of experienced personal injury solicitors can aid you in making a personal injury claim. In order to make a claim however it is important to have certain information regarding your injury such as, when the incident happened, how the accident occurred, the injuries sustained or any medical reports into your condition following the accident. The evidence you provide to our legal team will aid us in building a strong case for compensation.
The amount you can receive based on the extent on a variety of factors. Every claim is different however your compensation will be determined by factors like the extent of your injuries, the recovery time from the injuries, if there was a reduction in your quality of life as a result of your injuries, any costs incurred and any potential income lost due to being unable to work as a result of your accident. Our compensation calculator can provide you with a rough estimate of what your claim may be worth.
If the defendant accepts liability it is unlikely that your case will go to court and will instead be dealt with through a settlement agreement. Regardless of how your claim is settled, our team of experienced lawyers will work with you throughout the process on a no win, no fee basis to get you the compensation you deserve.
If you have been involved in an accident that was not your fault or suffered whiplash in a car accident or through slipping, you may be able to make a compensation claim. At Lawford Kidd we understand the lasting effect an injury may have on your life, and we will work with you to ensure that those who are responsible are held to account. To find out if you can make a personal injury claim, contact us today using our online contact form or call us on 0808 301 8258.