The Insurance man from BIBA on BBC Breakfast this morning was on about Whiplash claims again...
You do know there's been a 41% fall in whiplash claims, don't you? I know he never said so, but there has. To hear how the Insurance industry rave on about it, you'd think every day we put in a claim for whiplash. We don't. And a decent lawyer will not put in any risky claims for whiplash because they know it gets laughed out of court.
The other little insidious clause in the government's proposed reforms is to raise the small claims limit to £5,000. Like £5,000 is a small claim. That means 90% of accidents including accidents at work and on the road would effectively not get free legal representation. They'd have to go to court facing the insurers who, you can bet your bottom dollar, will be fully lawyered up. Are you cross yet? Cross enough to act?
Here's what to do:
1. Read this website http://www.feedingfatcats.co.uk/
2. Send Liz Truss a tweet @trussliz and say you don't like the proposal
3. Sign a petition at https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/173099
4. Write to your MP. The letter below gives you ideas what to say, but change it to make it personal
5. Share this post on any and every social media. Tag the person you know would want to act as well. The consultation ends 6th January. Let the government know what you think.
On the 17th November the government announced its plans to prevent people who are injured through no fault of their own from having free access to an independent lawyer by increasing the small claims limit from its current £1,000 to potentially £5,000. Innocent injury victims will be forced to fight insurance giants on their own to get compensation for their injuries.
The insurers talk about whiplash and fraud being behind the need for these changes. However, the statistics show that whiplash claims are falling and fraud (even on the insurers’ figures) affects less than 4% of all claims. Yet, these changes will impact on every motorist and minor injury PI claimant. That cannot be fair.
Increasing the small claims limit will place justice beyond the reach of thousands of people and just make more money for insurers who are already posting record profits.
As I understand the situation, these changes to the small claims court can be brought in with no debate about them in parliament. This is not right, as many of the people who will be denied access to legal representation will suffer because of it.
I am calling on you as my MP to lobby for these changes not to go ahead without proper consultation and parliamentary debate. I am asking you, and your fellow MPs to stand up for the Little Man against Big Business and to fight for justice. I would like to see questions asked at Prime Minister's Questions and the Ministry of Justice's plans to be opposed at every turn. I would love a debate to be held and the very process of sliding in these reforms on the back of another headline to be questioned.
Please stand up for our legal rights and oppose any changes to the small claims limit. They will have a big impact for both claimants and the personal injury lawyers who work for them, many of whom work in that area because it serves people who cannot afford or who are not able to speak for themselves.
I'm not going to stop talking about this until you tell me you've done something. Please.
I've written this post because I work for Peter Kneale Solicitor. We're a very small personal injury firm in Liverpool. The people we act for couldn't afford to pay us, and we don't want to take their compensation. If proposed reforms go ahead, these people will be up against the might of corporate Insurance without a friend to stand by them. That's not fair. Won't you stand by those who need your help? Please act and protect justice now.