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

MPs Call For Action Against Whiplash Claims

According to figures released by the Transport Committee, there has been a 70% increase in the number of personal injury motor claims in the last six years. Conversely, there has been a 23% drop in the number of casualties actually injured through road traffic accidents. These discrepancies have caused MPs to suggest that there is a large rise in the number of fraudulent whiplash claims being made and that now is the time to do something about it.

Who’s to Blame?

The cost of fraudulent whiplash claims is felt by the honest motorist in terms of soaring insurance premiums. It is estimated that the annual cost of dealing with claims of this sort adds around £66 to the insurance policy of every motorist in the UK. This charge is used to cover the costs of litigation and pay-outs – not all of which are deserved.

Louise Ellman, Chairman of the Transport Committee also believes that the insurers themselves must shoulder some of the blame, having created a culture through which compensation is seen as a fast-ticket to extra cash. She says that: “Insurers, solicitors and claims-management companies have themselves driven up the cost of motor insurance premiums by encouraging people caught up in road accidents they did not cause to claim for personal injury, car hire and other legal costs.”

The most commonly exaggerated or fraudulently-made claims are for whiplash. Part of the problem is that this condition is very hard to diagnose. More often than not, there are no exterior physical symptoms to support a claim and medical experts are reliant on the testimonials of the victims from which to make a diagnosis. With symptoms ranging from headaches to loss of mobility in the neck, it is easy to see how unscrupulous motorists could cash in on this nebulous condition.

Changes in the Law

Ellman suggests that: “The threshold for receiving compensation in whiplash cases should be raise and, if the number of such claims does not fall significantly, the Government should bring forward primary legislation to require objective evidence – both of a whiplash injury and it having a significant effect on the claimant’s life – before compensation is paid.” The Association of British Insurers is supporting Ellman’s proposals, but says that: “If someone presents themselves with a medical certificate saying they have got whiplash, the insurance company would have to prove that they don’t have whiplash, and that’s an extremely difficult thing to do.”

Britain is purportedly the ‘whiplash capital of Europe’, having the lowest number of reported road-accidents, yet the highest number of whiplash compensation claims. In the year 2010-2011, there were 554,000 claims made for this particular personal injury. As a result, the Government is currently reviewing the laws that govern Legal Aid and, in particular, those that allow referral fees in relation to whiplash claims.

While MPs may not be able to prevent fraudsters from faking symptoms, they hope that by making these cases less attractive to insurers and harder for claimants to pursue, they will be able to discern the genuine cases from those that are simply launched as a means to gaining a ‘quick buck’.

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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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