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Cameron to consider minimum impact speed for whiplash claims

14 February 2012

The prime minister is to suggest introducing a minimum impact speed of 15 mph for accidents resulting in whiplash claims, according to reports in the national newspapers today.

David Cameron will host a round table meeting with motor insurance executives, consumer representatives and ministers from the MoJ and Department of Transport this afternoon.

He is reported to be considering two further methods of cracking down on whiplash claims, both of which featured in a private member’s bill tabled by former justice secretary Jack Straw last year (see solicitorsjournal.com, 19 September 2011).

Under the bill, drivers would be required to produce more medical evidence of their injuries and the fee paid to lawyers for low-value RTA claims would be slashed. The bill is due to return to the Commons later this month.

MPs on the transport select committee said last month that the government should consider bringing in new laws to crack down on whiplash claims if the Jackson reforms failed to reduce them.

They said they were not convinced “that a diagnosis unsupported by any further evidence of injury or personal inconvenience arising from the injury should be sufficient for a claim to be settled”.

The MPs went on: “In our view, the bar to receiving compensation in whiplash cases should be raised.”

The select committee found that the number of RTA claims notified to the Compensation Recovery Unit had increased from 466,097 in 2005-06 to 790,999 in 2010-11.

However, it said the number of accident victims had gone down in the same period, from 258,404 in 2006 to 208,648 in 2010.

In a further attack on claimant personal injury lawyers, MPs said one way to help reduce personal injury premiums might be to consider whether fees for low-value claims using the online portal were reasonable.

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