Personal injury lawyers have criticised Prime Minister David Cameron for excluding the legal profession from talks about whiplash claims for compensation.
On Tuesday, Cameron met with representatives from leading insurance firms as well as the Association of British Insurers (ABI) for a ‘summit’ to discuss how to tackle the rising cost of car insurance.
Cameron has previously stated that the country has a ‘damaging compensation culture’ and wants to reduce the number of compensation claims made in the UK.
Despite calls from the Law Society in January for engagement with the profession only government ministers and insurers attended the summit. Law Society chief executive Desmond Hudson said:
“We wrote to the Prime Minister over a month ago, but it is disappointing that our offer to work with him and his government in addressing public concerns over whiplash claims has been ignored.
“There are many options to address, from government, opposition, and others, which need proper consideration. Government should not be limiting itself to tea and cakes with one partisan set of stakeholders- the insurers.”
Following discussions with insurers Cameron stated that the industry had committed to reduce premiums to reflect any reductions in legal costs created by the Jackson reforms.
He stated:“The insurance industry plays such an important part in all our lives – it is there to help when we are at our most vulnerable and at greatest need.”
Personal Injury Lawyers Respond To Media Criticism
Following Cameron’s meeting with insurers an article in The Independent newspaper made reference to ‘ambulance-chasing lawyers’ and welcomed the capping of lawyer’s fees.
Deborah Evans, chief executive of the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL) has responded to media criticism of the personal injury industry.
In a letter to The Independent she said:
“Legal costs have already been slashed to the bone following the introduction nearly two years ago of a streamlined, fixed fee system for low-value road traffic claims.
“Insurers helped to develop this system and are now saving £1/2 billion a year. So why haven’t premiums fallen to reflect this? The tools for reducing insurance premiums lie in the hands of the insurers themselves. It is utterly wrong to make people with genuine injuries the scapegoats for the insurance industry’s own failings.”
The government has issued their intention to raise the threshold for accidents by introducing a minimum speed requirement alongside more detailed medical evidence following an accident.
There were no specific details released regarding when the changes would be made, with the government merely predicting progress in the coming months.
If you have been injured in an accident as a result of someone else’s negligence then personal injury lawyers can help you to claim the compensation that you deserve. Contact Duncan Gibbins Solicitors today on 0800 0193 515 for free, no obligation legal advice.
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