Personal Injury Reform to Cost UK £146m a year
I’ve blogged a lot over the past couple of years about the never-ending series of changes to the law driven by the powerful insurance lobby.
The next set of upcoming changes is perhaps the most radical and egregious the UK legal system will have ever suffered. To recap, the planned changes consist of:
- Preventing people injured in a road traffic accident from seeking legal advice (unless they are wealthy enough to pay privately); and
- Changing the law so that injuries are valued much lower (the levels have traditionally been set by panels of judges, independently)
A new Impact Assessment published by the Ministry of Justice has found that the changes will cause:
- The UK to lose £140m in revenue a year
- The NHS to lose £6m a year (currently the NHS can recover its costs in treating injured people from the insurance company of the negligent party; if people cannot pursue a case then it follows these charges will go unrecovered)
Whilst the UK stands to lose £146m a year, the insurance companies forcing through the changes stand to benefit by £1.3m a year. Even if they pass on savings to customers (I say “if” because with all the previous changes made it was promised savings would be passed on but instead insurance companies pocketed the difference – will this time be any different?) they will still profit by £190m a year.
Maybe I’m mistaken but I thought the purpose of a government was to make the Country wealthier?! Why should an already cash-strapped NHS lose £6m a year? Why should a country already battling the challenges of Brexit face not only the tremendous regulatory reform challenges but also a loss of £140m a year?
Well, if you have a multi-billion pound lobby group to lean on politicians like the insurance industry has that’s what your money can buy.
Other planned changes include making it more difficult to get legal advice for an injury at work. To what extent the insurance industry will then turn its focus towards claimants who have suffered an accident at work in the future remains unknown but the tremendous windfall they are about to receive could well be the motivation to do so.
By James Winterbottom, Solicitor
Aston Knight Solicitors Bury are a specialist firm of solicitors that specialise in serious injuries including medical negligence claims and work injury compensation. If you would like to discuss further please contact a member of our team on 0800 999 6661 or firstname.lastname@example.org for a free and confidential discussion.