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Concerns over Government’s whiplash proposals

Posted in: Road Traffic Accidents Whiplash Injuries 

The Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL) has expressed concern over the Government’s proposed reforms to the system for handling whiplash claims, which will increase the number of road traffic cases heard in the small claims court.

According to APIL, increasing the small claims court limit for road accident victims could overwhelm the court system and cause it to grind to a halt.

Lawyers are also concerned that district judges will not be able to level the playing field between unrepresented personal injury victims and the defendants they have to face in court, who invariably have the benefit of legal advice.

Karl Tonks, president of APIL said:

“Judges are obliged to be impartial and fair to all parties, which inevitably means that, while they can assist individuals to some extent, they cannot actively advise either party,”

“Furthermore, an independent study has found that judges are more reluctant to intervene where one party (usually the defendant) is legally represented.

“These ill-advised proposals raise the serious spectre of bewildered injury victims who cannot find their way through the court system, and catastrophic delays to the court process.”


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