Lawyers have called for “sanity” in the national whiplash debate after claims dropped by 24,000 in the last year.
An independent survey, commissioned by the not-for-profit Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL) also found that almost 40% of people who have suffered a whiplash injury have never claimed compensation for it.
The new information “injects some sanity into a national debate characterised by overblown and inaccurate rhetoric,” said APIL president Karl Tonks.
“The Government appears to have been persuaded by the insurance industry that the answer to rising car insurance premiums lies in “tackling” whiplash claims, but the Government's own figures show there has been a drop in these claims in the last year,” he said.
“Before the Government embarks on a potentially damaging reform agenda, it's critical that ministers have a clear picture about whiplash, and that they recognise that most injured people are genuine and therefore have every right to expect proper access to justice when they need it.”
The research reveals new information, including:
- Only one in a hundred people suffered a whiplash injury in the past year.
- One in five people who have had a whiplash injury suffered symptoms for more than a year.
- 90% of sufferers are diagnosed by a medical professional.
- Almost 30% of people were encouraged to claim compensation by insurance companies.