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Talking after Whiplash Reforms is too late

Posted 14 October 2016 by Donna Scully

Carpenters Response to the MoJ consultation

It is our view that the Government is embarking on a potentially disastrous course, littered with dangers and potential pitfalls. We have consistently pointed out the ‘unintended consequences’ since the reforms were announced in 2015.

The proposed reforms are short-sighted, unfair and may have the opposite effect.  Previous reforms such as LASPO, have demonstrated that ill-considered and predominantly one-sided agendas do not achieve their objectives.

This spurious questioning of the legitimacy to pursue justice and compensation is deeply troubling for one injury only. Condemning legitimate and reasonable claims challenges one of the basic foundations of our centuries-old legal system and our system of restorative insurance cover.

In the absence of independent professional legal advice and representation, LiPs will either struggle with the complexities of representing themselves, will tragically not seek compensation for their injuries at all, or they will be driven into the hands of Claims Management Companies & McKenzie Friends.  Additionally our court system is under considerable strain already so this may tip it over the edge.

We are deeply concerned that inadequate consideration has been given to the potential for abuse by unscrupulous enablers and middle men who will step into the void such as bad CMCs.  The Brady Review of CMCs and new regulation is unlikely to take place for some years so in meantime, CMCs will fill the vacuum these reforms will create.

Genuine claimants will need very real protection from those who will want to encourage them to claim and take a huge cut of their damages for the privilege.  I can see the potential for more fraud, more claims and no reductions in premiums at all. This is the worst of all worlds and will benefit no-one. I genuinely fear it will make the industry worse and increase fraud.

We must have a zero tolerance to bad behaviour, but the dishonesty of a minority should not condemn the majority. The last thing we should want to see are accident victims forced into the hands of bad CMCs and even worse, ‘McKenzie Friends’ who are unqualified, uninsured, and driven solely by money.

The focus for reforms should be to tackle fraud. Genuine claimants should not be penalised.  So much more can be achieved by an open dialogue and collaboration to find real solutions to tackle fraudulent and other unwelcome behaviour. The reforms are a very blunt objective that will attack genuine motor insurance customers instead of sorting out the bad people.


© 2017 Carpenters. All rights reserved.
Directors: John Carpenter, Donna Scully


Carpenters is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority under number 625845 www.sra.org.uk
and is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority under number 755996 www.fca.org.uk

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