With recent news that the upper limit for small claims cases could be raised in the United Kingdom, there has been a smattering of concern within the personal injury field as to whether this will affect business. Many personal injury lawyers in London that I know have even go so far to say that this could mean the end of their practices. Thankfully recent weeks has seen confirmation from the government that they do not intend to do this just yet… although they have said that they think it to be a very good idea. The government is going to develop safeguards first being implement any changes to limit as they fear it could have an effect on victims who have genuine claims for compensation.
Personal Injury Claims to Be Reviewed By Medical Experts
Not only that, but the UK government has also commented on the outstanding proposal where a new and independent body of medical experts was going to be launched to investigate personal injury claims. The idea behind this one is a very solid one as it would mean claims relating to items which are notoriously hard to prove (think whiplash injuries) could be properly investigated before any compensation was paid out. The plan was that compensation would only be paid out in the event of a medical professional approving the claim and supporting any evidence put forward by the personal injury solicitor or lawyer.
The expert reports would be submitted in a standard and set format so the entire personal injury industry conforms to one way of doing things. The hope is that this would start to negate the pattern where a personal injury lawyer might tend to always favour the claimant with little or no medical proof of injury. Having said that, there is still some way to go before this one sees the light of day so we will need to wait for the proposal to come through from Whitehall.
Proposed Shortening of Personal Injury Claims
In some related news, the Transport Select Committee has already requested that any personal injury cases that has arisen from driving accidents are limited to only being claimable within a shorter three year period – but the UK politicians have rejected this proposal. This kind of makes sense because if this were to happen it would make the personal injury law much more complex and could even lead to more cases being brought before the courts.
Make the Claimant Offer More Proof of Injury
In addition to this, the UK government has also come up with some ideas on how to make fake personal injury compensation claims more difficult to pay out. The proposal would mean there would have to be a far more comprehensive investigation into the claimant’s injuries including more in-depth medical assessments and reports. If this would really make any difference is a moot point – in fact most personal injury lawyers are privately saying that the only real differentiator would be better technology being used as standard in cars. And by that they mean things like black box type equipment – think speed records, on-dash GPS cameras – that kind of thing.