Injured people will be acting as guinea pigs in the latest reform of compensation claims.
The Official Injury Claims portal has now gone live and is to be used to claim whiplash injury compensation instead of using a solicitor.
The new online system only applies to those claiming compensation for whiplash injuries received on or after 31 May. Anyone injured in a road traffic accident prior to that date should still contact a solicitor for legal advice.
The portal has been met with a mixed response. It was welcomed by the Association of British Insurers, who described it as a “watershed moment”.
James Dalton, director of general insurance, said: “… the focus of the insurance industry has always been to ensure that the needs of the genuine personal injury claimants are at the heart of a simpler, more efficient, cost effective compensation process.”
However, others have a very different perspective. Jonathan White, legal and compliance director at National Accident Helpline, said; “Injured people are often vulnerable and fearful of legal process, legal costs, court rooms and insurers. The Official Injury Claim portal, which hasn’t been widely publicised, is frightening.
“The 64-page user guide contains cross referencing and unfamiliar legal terms in the introduction.
“And how is someone with a debilitating 10-week neck and back injury going to react to the news that they might end up with £240?”
“The main issue will be where claimants have other injuries alongside whiplash – there seems to be little or no guidance available to the public for these ‘hybrid’ claims.
“It will be a while before we get a true picture of the issues, in the meantime, injured people will be left to act as guinea pigs.
“My advice to anyone sustaining multiple injuries, is to contact a solicitor in the first instance.”
Follow the links below for more information and tariff of compensation payments: