Whiplash Claims – Judge Rejects Whiplash Injury Payout

Window of hope to reduce insurance bill?

As a High Court judge rejects the whiplash injury claims of two women, the insurance industry is given hope that the campaign to reduce fake compensation claims is starting to bite.

Whiplash claims cost the UK insurance industry £2 billion a year, the highest in Europe, and add an average of £90 to motorists’ insurance premiums, according to a publication by the Association of British Insurers (ABI).

After hearing evidence that the accident involving the women was very minor, Mr Justice Mostyn dismissed the women’s claims.

“It is proper that I should go on to record that I do not accept the evidence of either of them, which I find to be inaccurate, evasive, partial and advanced for an improper pecuniary motive,” said the judge.

“This is yet a further example of the national phenomenon of false whiplash claims being made and it is in an attempt to stem the tide that I do not shrink from making firm adverse findings against them.”

In the court case, findings that helped to influence the judge’s decision were:

  • The women, who were rear passengers in the car at the time of the accident, did not visit a doctor for a week and 18 days respectively to report any injury
  • Medical evidence backing the accounts of the women “was so similar it cast doubt on the professional objectivity of the expert,” said the judge
  • Photos were taken by the driver, which showed there was no visible damage to the car as a result of the accident.
  • The driver of the car, who was uninjured, described the accident, in which the vehicle hit a bollard at low speed, as very minor
  • A passenger in the front seat, also uninjured, backed up the driver’s description of the accident.

The ABI supports government proposals for reform to the way in which whiplash claims are processed. The Transport Select Committee has suggested that a claimant should provide proof that they sought medical attention shortly after an accident or provide evidence of the impact of an injury on their everyday lives. Where this information is not provided, the ABI agrees that it should be much less likely that a person’s claim is successful.

In January 2014, Ministers addressing the reform of personal injury claims hosted a series of discussions with key organisations and the personal injury and medical sectors. A cross-industry panel of experts will now work with the government to help implement changes.

At its first meeting on 7th February, the group agreed the way forward: to improve medical evidence and reporting, to establish a medical accreditation scheme and to take forward work on legal and behavioural reform.

If you have sustained a whiplash injury, or if someone is claiming against you, contact Insure Your Motor as soon as possible. 

Click for an online quote or speak to our expert team on 0800 557 1329.

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