March 11, 2013
Spencers Solicitors believes that many of the assertions made by the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) within its whiplash consultation, which closed on Friday 8th March 2013, are inaccurate, misunderstood or simply wrong.
Lee Foster, former section head of Motor Litigation at Spencers Solicitors said:
"There is a fundamental failure [in the consultation] to understand the current process. This is deeply worrying and serves to demonstrate that further review and genuine consultation with all stakeholders is required.
"While we agree that certain aspects of personal injury law and practice can be improved, without impartial discussion and holistic reform the opportunity to change the system for the better will be lost.
"Whiplash is a very real and sometimes complex injury. The basis upon which the consultation is built appears to either ignore this for political purposes or challenge this without any evidence."
Speaking at the Pan European Organisation of Personal Injury Lawyers (PEOPIL) conference last week in Turin (8th March 2013) on 'Whiplash - the Age of Reform', John Spencer, Director of Spencers Solicitors, said that access to justice is fundamentally threatened by the proposed changes to how whiplash claims are settled. The inadvertent targets of these changes are the victims, not fraud that sits at the edges of the system. According to the Insurers own analysis fraud represents less than 7% of claims.
John Spencer continued:
"Fraud, whether organised or opportunistic, must be rigorously identified and tackled at every available opportunity - and the legal sector has a massive role to play in that. Implementation should be based on a practical approach that removes fraud from the equation while allowing those who have been injured to have access to justice."