Injury victims delivered on a plate to insurance industry fat cats
As part of its #FeedingFatCats campaign, Thompsons Solicitors sets out why the Government’s planned small claims limit will only benefit the privileged few.
Insurance industry fat cats are purring with delight as the Government proposes legal changes that will cost the Government over £150m at the same time as gifting insurers an extra £200m in profits.
The Government admits that increasing the small claims limit by 500% will remove access to free, or affordable, legal representation for 95% of injured people, including those injured at work. It is using whiplash as a fig leaf to do so.
Here we outline why the government's plans are in fact prioritising #FeedingFatCats:
- The Government say the reforms are needed to stop fake whiplash claims. But these reforms will hit injured workers and there is no suggestion of fake claims by injured employees.
- The Government say whiplash case numbers have increased in the last decade. But work-related injury claims have fallen over the last 10 years, and whiplash is down over the last five.
- The Government say the proposals will benefit motorists by reducing premiums. But including workplace injuries in the changes won't benefit motorists, it will only benefit employers and their insurers.
- The senior Judge advising the government, Jackson LJ, suggested a modest increase to £1,500 only when justified by inflation. But inflation does not yet justify that change, let alone a 500% hike.
- The Transport Select Committee recommended against any increase in the small claims limit as they considered access to justice was likely to be impaired. But the government is ignoring that.
- The Government admits that workplace injury cases are legally and factually more complex than road traffic claims. But they’re still proposing flawed reforms which will strip injured victims of independent legal representation – regardless of whether they’re hurt on the road, at work or elsewhere.
They haven’t been able to give any justification for including employment injuries in what is billed as a reform of whiplash claims, because - let’s face it – they can’t.
Who gains? The privileged few.