A crackdown on bogus whiplash claims could leave those genuinely injured out of pocket, a campaign group has warned.
In his autumn statement, George Osborne revealed plans to scrap compensation for ‘minor’ whiplash claims – saying many were fraudulent and drove up the cost of car insurance.
However, the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL) has described figures used by the Government to justify the plans as ‘distorted’.
- Hit and run drivers ‘don’t know it’s illegal’
- 6 ways the government plans to improve road safety
- Global NCAP begs GM to address zero-star new car safety
The association’s president, Jonathan Wheeler, said: “No fraud can ever be justified or condoned. But the fact that there is far less of it than we have all been led to believe, and that it is still being used to justify Government proposals to abolish the right to compensation for some whiplash injuries, is an absolute scandal. The Government has obviously fallen for the insurance industry’s smokescreen.
“A proper analysis of the insurance industry’s own figures shows that only 0.25% of motor claims are actually proven to be fraudulent,” he explained.
The organisation points out that these fraudulent claims including policy holders exaggerating their claims, or making false declarations when applying for insurance. Only a fraction of those will be whiplash claims, says APIL, but there aren’t any clear industry figures available.
Wheeler added: “It is perfectly clear to anyone who looks at the real picture that the Government’s proposal is both draconian and has no basis in evidence.
“The plans are an attempt to legislate away a long-held fundamental right to compensation for genuine injury.”