Access to Justice responds to the publication of the Prisons & Courts Bill

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23 February 2017

The government confirms its plan for £5,000 whiplash small claims limit, £2,000 for all other PI claims and fixed General Damages for whiplash claims

Andrew Twambley, spokesperson for Access to Justice (A2J), which is lobbying against the government’s reforms said:

“We are extremely disappointed that the government seems hell bent on removing the rights of ordinary people to gain redress for injuries that weren’t their fault. Increasing the small claims limit to £5,000 discriminates against ordinary people suffering whiplash injuries and will open the doors for claims management companies and cold callers to wreak further havoc on the market.”

“The government has not even waited to issue a response to the consultation exercise, confirming that it is uninterested in due process and deaf to the serious concerns raised by legal firms, the judiciary and consumer groups.”

“Insurers will be rubbing their hands in glee. They have the government in their pocket, and will themselves be pocketing any savings made, for themselves and their shareholders.”

“Motor insurance is compulsory, but the millions of people who buy the product understand that, in doing so, they take out a contract with an insurer to be compensated if they are injured. The government has driven a coach and horses through that principle and insurers are complicit in helping to break this fundamental relationship with their customers.”

“A2J will continue to campaign hard for a compromise where ordinary people are still able to call on legal advice and receive fair redress for their whiplash injuries. We are convinced our Alternative Claims Framework (ACF) is the right approach, as it will reduce the incidence of frivolous claims but maintain access to justice for ordinary people.”

The ACF has been carefully thought through to ensure all parties benefit, namely:

  1. Access to Justice for injured people is retained
  2. A significant reduction in claims volumes, with an added focus on reducing potentially frivolous or fraudulent claims
  3. Beefed up regulation to further restrict unscrupulous cold callers
  4. Immediate implementation without the need for legislation

Furthermore, the ACF is future proofed, so creating certainty for lawyers, insurers and the public, and avoiding the for continuous government intervention in our sector.

Andrew Twambley is available for interview

About Access to Justice (A2J): A2J represents the interests of the public and is supported by the broader personal injury (PI) sector. Its prime focus is to respond to the government’s proposed road traffic accident compensation reforms. A2J provides a cohesive voice to fight these proposed draconian measures; it will work with the government and other interested parties to create sensible, balanced alternatives which protect individuals’ rights, while addressing the government’s concerns, particularly in relation to claims fraud.

For more information, please contact Ben Welsh, Certus CC Ltd: 07568 38240