Supreme Court Speaks out on Personal Injury Law: Consumers are not to Blame
posted on Apr 13, 2018
Supreme Court Judge Criticizes Personal Injury System
The Telegraph has reported that Lord Sumpton, the Supreme Court Judge, wants to, ‘take blame out of personal injury law,’ and stop blaming the consumer. Why exactly? There are many reasons Sumpton sees that the consumer is not to blame. Although, it is important to understand the full situation before we explain the Supreme Court Judge’s opinions.
There has been a rise in insurance costs, specifically pertaining to the motor industry. Not only this, but an increase in faking claims and rising NHS costs. Furthermore, ascension in the compensation claim amounts. They have linked this to the fault of cold callers and no win no fee services. Furthermore, there is a possibility that certain hotels and resorts may not allow Britons to book with them. This is due to fake holiday illness compensation claims. The UK Government has made assurances that it will put specific actions in place such as fixed whiplash claim tariff’s as well as banning settlements where the consumer has no evidence of a medical nature.
The Supreme Court Judge claimed that “the system” is the problem for the high rise of compensation claims and not the consumer. This is because the law bases it on placing blame for an individual’s accidents. He argued that due to the fact that personal injury claims have increased whilst accidents have not, that the rise must be due to “a greater understanding of what can be claimed”. He said that compensation that the state or insurers cannot pay falls on the shoulders of other citizens. In terms of insures it could “in extreme cases” lead to “insurers simply withdrawing from exposed sectors.” He furthermore made the point that it is not fair that a personal accident claim system based on individual fault relies on the state and insurers to pay out the money for such fault. The Supreme Court Judge criticized the law of tort system. He claimed, “ it often misses the target, or hits the wrong target. It makes us no safer while producing undesirable side effects. What is more, it does all of these things at disproportionate cost and with altogether excessive delay.” Proposing a blame-free system that is tax funded or by “compulsory insurance.”
Is Making a Personal Accident Claim to Easy? What do You Think of Lord Sumpton’s Opinion?
The Supreme Court judge could be right. When it comes to making a personal accident claim, perhaps the faulty personal injury law system has socialized individuals into claiming for more and in a sense, taking advantage of the blame based system. On the other hand, it seems the rise is due to false claims and the UK government has decided to put adequate procedures in place that prevent individuals from placing blame for a claimed personal accident claim where there is none. Does this not mean that the system simply had to get better at proving the blame and that personal injury law systems without it will, in fact, make it easier to make more claims and heighten costs? What do you think?