CILEx oppose Government whiplash plans
CILEx has responded to the Government’s consultation on whiplash reform, saying the plans will penalise genuinely injured persons.
The consultation proposed to remove, or dramatically reduce, the compensation given to people injured in road traffic accidents that were not their fault, and to make it harder for them to get legal advice.
CILEx president Martin Callan FCILEx said:
“CILEx members work for both claimants and defendants in these kinds of cases, but all have expressed reservations. These proposals have delivered a cold shiver of uncertainty for CILEx members who support injured persons to achieve restitution, and defendants say that responding to unrepresented and unsupported claimants will cause delay and confusion. I will be meeting with ministers, as well as with my counterparts at the Law Society and Bar Council, to discuss how we can ameliorate the worst impacts of these proposals.”
In its submission, CILEx recommended that:
- Under no circumstances should the legal right to compensation for injury caused by the negligence of a third party be removed.
- Compensation should be decided based on the severity as well as duration of injury, and judges should have discretion to decide the level of award.
- A ‘minor’ injury involves a bruise or sticking plaster, not months of suffering. Defining an injury that lasts half a year or more as ‘minor’ is demonstrably wrong.
- The small claims track is for faulty goods and unpaid invoices, not road traffic accident injuries.
- The small claims limit for personal injury claims of any sort should not be raised. It will harm access to justice, worsen inequalities of arms, encourage exaggerated claims, and lead to potential turmoil in an already over-stretched court system.
- Mental health issues should not be treated as ancillary or inconsequential, and compensation for psychological injury should be appropriately assessed and compensated for with propriety and compassion.
The full CILEx whiplash response can be found on the CILEx website