APIL challenges insurance companies on whiplash claims
The Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL) has rejected a suggestion from a leading insurance company that whiplash claims should be handled directly by insurers.
What the insurance company is claiming
Aviva blames an 80% rise in motor insurance premiums since 2008 on an increase in personal injury claims. It claims that whiplash is one of the main contributors to this figure, suggesting the number of cases has risen 32% since 2009.
It suggests whiplash claims from those injured in road traffic accidents account for an extra £118 in the average driver’s annual insurance, and contends that allowing such claims to be handled directly by insurers of the ‘at fault’ party would take £1.5 billion off the annual UK premium.
An APIL spokesman contested these claims, saying that leaving injured parties in the hands of the ‘at fault’ insurer would leave them in an “incredibly vulnerable position”.
They added that such an arrangement had the potential to create a serious conflict of interest that could jeopardise the prospect of a fair outcome for the claimant.
This is a topic that has been on APIL’s agenda since last year, when its ‘Whiplash Report 2012’ was put before Parliament in November with the aim of ensuring an equal debate between the injured drivers and those defending themselves against whiplash claims.
This report directly addressed a long-standing insurer claim that lawyers are responsible for the rise in whiplash compensation claims. APIL surveyed 4,000 drivers and found that 28% said their whiplash claim was encouraged by an insurer, compared with just 21% who pursued compensation on the advice of a solicitor.
It also highlighted the fact that UK roads are busier than anywhere else in Europe. This increases the possibility of low velocity accidents, which are a major cause of whiplash injuries.
In a direct challenge to insurers, APIL also claimed it was irresponsible for them to offer compensation without first seeking medical evidence to support whiplash claims. It argues that this in turn gives rise to a number of fraudulent cases brought by those who have not really suffered an injury. APIL President Karl Tonks says all parties must work together on this issue in order to ensure only honest whiplash claims are compensated.
Why you should get help from personal injury solicitors
At Sheldon Davidson Solicitors, we are able to provide assistance from vastly experienced road traffic accident solicitors who will work hard to secure the best possible compensation for you.
The main advantage of working with personal injury solicitors instead of allowing an insurer to handle your whiplash claim is that you can be certain there is someone who is working in your best interests. If you allow the ‘at fault’ insurer to handle the claim, then of course there is the chance that they will simply seek to limit the damage to them rather than obtain the compensation you are owed.
Our team will help deal with all aspects of your whiplash case. As well as the pursuit of compensation, there may also be other factors to deal with depending on the severity of your injury. Some people think of whiplash as a minor inconvenience, but the reality is that the effects can often last several months.
We can help you recover any medical fees required during your rehabilitation, as well as any lost earnings you incurred as a result of forced absence from work.
If you’d like to hear more about how Sheldon Davidson Solicitors can help with your traffic accident compensation claim, whether you wish to claim for whiplash or a more serious injury, you can call us on 0808 9000 990 for further information.