Taylor&Emmet poll reveals dismay at injury reforms
Taylor&Emmet LLP’s Twitter followers have shown resounding opposition to the government’s plans to reduce the legal support available for victims of road traffic accidents.
The Sheffield solicitors have run a series of online polls concerning the proposed Civil Liability Bill, which is attempting to remove whiplash claims from the current costs regime.
When asked if they were aware of the reforms, only 17% of Taylor&Emmet’s Twitter followers indicated their knowledge of and support for the government’s actions. The majority (66%) were opposed to the proposals, the remaining 17% were unaware of the bill.
John Green, a personal injury specialist at Taylor&Emmet, said: “The government has been lobbied hard by insurance companies to do more to prevent fraudulent whiplash claims. In reality, this is more of a corporate cost-saving exercise. Less than 1% of whiplash claims are falsified and the overall number of cases has been falling since 2010.”
If the Civil Liability Bill is approved by parliament, it will mean the majority of people suffering soft tissue injuries in road accidents will have to represent themselves in court or fund claims for compensation personally, including commissioning expensive medical reports.
Taylor&Emmet asked Twitter users if they felt whiplash claimants should pay privately for medical evidence and 86% said no. In response to a question about self-representation, 92% felt they would be out of their depth. Only 8% said they would attempt it, but they acknowledged the result may suffer.
John added: “If passed into law, the Civil Liability Bill will deny the majority of innocent road accident victims access to justice. Our polls demonstrate how little public support there is for the changes. No one wants to see fraudsters prosper, but we are calling for the government to recognise its current proposals penalise the majority, instead of the guilty few.”
Taylor&Emmet is supporting First4Lawyers’ Repair the Right Body campaign, which is urging members of the public to tell their MPs that the government is wrong to prioritise damage to cars over injuries to people. The Civil Liability Bill would see compensation for injuries suffered in motor accidents heavily curtailed, whilst the costs allocated to repairing vehicles stays the same.