Moffat & Co Solicitors

Moffat & Co Solicitors
Accident Compensation Claim Solicitors Scotland
PO Box 28287
Edinburgh
Scotland
EH9 2WU
Telephone:
0131 662 6988
Fax:
0131 667 8175

MASS Motor Accident Solicitors Society

Moffat & Co Solicitors Over 25 years of experience at your service

Cracking down on Whiplash Claims

The AA, Britain’s largest motoring organisation, has called for more to be done to stem the tide of whiplash claims that it says added an estimated £90 to the average car insurance policy last year.

The AA said that whiplash claims cost insurers in excess of £2billion in the previous year – costs which are inevitably passed on to policy holders. The comments were made by Simon Douglas, the Director of AA insurance, during a summit on insurance in London. Mr Douglas called for a range of new measures to reduce the number of whiplash claims in the UK, such as clamping down on cold-calls by claims management firms to accident victims.

“I hope that today’s Government announcement will see a tight timescale applied to reform of civil litigation which at present, encourages people to make a claim regardless of how serious their injury is or even if they have not suffered injury at all,” said Mr Douglas.

Meanwhile Justice Secretary Kenneth Clarke said that the UK Government plans to make it, “quicker, cheaper and easier for valid injury claims to be dealt with through the small claims court,” while at the same time cracking down on fake claims.

Whiplash symptoms

Whiplash is a medical condition that occurs when ligaments in the neck are stretched by a sudden, violent movement, such as that which often occurs in road traffic accidents with relatively low-speed front impacts or rear end collisions. Symptoms include loss of feeling and tingling in hands or arms, headaches, nausea and stiffness of the neck. These symptoms can take a number of days to present themselves, and though they often dissipate after a few weeks or a month, can last for more than a year. In such cases, whiplash can be highly debilitating and result in time off work and frequent discomfort.

Whiplash in Scotland

While any decisions taken at the summit will not affect the claims process in Scotland, similar issues are under discussion, and according to the British Insurance Brokers’ Association (BIBA) Scotland has just as high volume of claims as elsewhere in Britain, despite lower legal fees being available than in England and Wales.

Back in February, BIBA Chief Executive Eric Galbraith said that the rate of whiplash claims for Scotland is, “about the same,” as elsewhere in the UK. He went on to say that: “The claims process at the moment is pretty flawed, something has to change... insurers have to take back control of how claims are dealt with – if that is not done, [insurance] costs will continue to rise.”

The UK government is expected to outline a number of proposals for reducing whiplash claims this summer, including the introduction of independent medical experts to assess whiplash injuries, rather than fee-collecting GPs as is the case at present.

Finding a balance

Many are concerned however, that efforts to tackle fraudulent whiplash claims are tempered by a need to ensure that those who are genuinely injured get the compensation they deserve. Karl Tonks, president of the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers commented that: "Whiplash injuries are real, they can be long term, and must not be trivialised... I’m really concerned that in all the latest populist rhetoric about whiplash claims, everyone is being tarred with the same brush."

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Testimonials

Since contacting Stan I was continously informed of the development and progress of each step of my claim. Stan was persistent and patient throughout the whole process and reassured me he would win me the compensation I deserved - and he was true to his word. I am extremely happy with the outcome of my claim and this is all thanks to Stan.

Sarah

My case was dealt with personally by Stan Moffat and what a brilliant guy. His office contacted me personally by telephone at the start of my claim to explain who they were and what they would be doing for me. All through the case I was kept fully informed of all actions either by e-mail or by letter and reassured by Stan several times of any queries I had.

It is very seldom that a solicitor will take the time to speak personally at any time with you without getting run through secretaries etc. I commend this man for that as this was a very upsetting and important time for me and he did everything in his power to make this as easy and as swift as possible for me.

I highly recommend the service that this firm brings and the speed that they move at.

J McMahon

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