18 June 2013

Personal injury lawyers refute whiplash claims

British lawyers have played down allegations by insurers that petty claims have added £90 to the average motor insurance quote and sealed Britain's title as the whiplash capital of the world.

By James Barnes

Whiplash: a pain in the neck for insurers

In written evidence to MPs, the Association of British Insurers said that personal injury companies are to blame for the rise, adding that of the total £10.7billion in motor claims in 2011 £2.2billion was paid out due to whiplash, reports the Metro.

Old figures

The insurers highlighted ‘aggressive marketing’ and referral fees paid by claimant solicitors - banned from April this year – for the hike.
The Association of Personal Injury Lawyers contended that Britain’s whiplash title came from a nine-year-old-report which used figures that were even older.
However, according to the report, the latest figures still back up the insurers’ claims as 78 per cent of all British personal injury claims are related to whiplash compared to 48 per cent in other EU countries.

Potential lawsuits

Meanwhile, the US Supreme Court has ruled that lawyers are not allowed to trawl drivers’ databases for personal information when seeking plaintiffs for potential lawsuits.
Reuters reports that the case balanced on language in the law that allows access to the data for lawyers pursuing an ‘investigation in anticipation of litigation’.
The ruling was made after a group of motorists sued lawyers – including some from major firm Lewis & Babcock – who tried to access personal information in order to file a lawsuit on behalf of customers against a car dealership.

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