Will the New PI Claims Whiplash Reforms Cause Job Losses?
posted on Jul 06, 2018
It is estimated that 1.3 Million people in the work force of Great Britain have suffered a personal injury between 2016/2017. With a focus on motorists, insurance companies have pointed out that PI claims for whiplash alone increased by as much as 780 000 in the same period. Naturally the higher the claim rate, the higher insurance premiums for motorists.
PI Claims and Whiplash Compensation, is it Really Worth It?
In our recent post; Time to Debate the Civil Liability Bill we mentioned how the focus on the Civil Liability Bill would mean a reduction in insurance rates nationwide. This news was well received by motorists who can look forward to a saving of up to as much as £35 per year on their insurance premiums. But the personal injury claims debate is not over. Is the minority of injured sufferers disadvantaged by fraudulent PI claims made by others? How can personal injury claims be more appropriately qualified? And how is the Government and the public going to deal with the whiplash reforms issue together?
The Effect on Personal Injury Lawyers and the Risk of Job Cuts
So (on the surface), it seems that saving a few pounds is good news for motorists. Insurers benefit as well from a reduction in the number of fraudulent claims. However, what does it mean for personal injury lawyers and firms? According to the Law Gazette, The Association of Personal Injury Lawyers is committed to seeing through the whiplash reforms. It is suggested that “the reforms may be a chance to reinvent the sector and promote a more positive image”. Another recent assessment proposed that Loss in Revenue for PI firms was substantial and could cost up to “£81m per year in lost revenue”. This could be because the reform sets out to lighten burdens on the small claims court. An expected increase of claimants without representation will rise from 5% to 30%. A further estimation was made whereby the “whiplash reforms are expected to affect 96% of whiplash claims”.
It is quite prevalent how the changes in the industry are affecting personal injury services in general. Considering cost recovery, solicitors and insurers alike are scrambling to get a foothold in the uncertainty that the PI claims reforms have created. It has already been suggested that Insurance companies are to benefit by claimants seeking compensation directly. Additionally there may be a potential for PI firms to recoup lost revenues by representing individuals who are struggling with their PI claims from insurers. The reform has certainly come under mass scrutiny form the Law Society, and clearly it is going to take time to see how these new implementations around personal injury claims are actually going to work. Ultimately we want to know what will be the impact on the general public as they struggle for their right to fair compensation for personal injury.