Government announces cap on whiplash report fees
Announced by Justice Secretary Chris Grayling today, fees will be limited to £180 in a move said to reflect the time needed to carry out assessments and write up an initial report.
The Ministry of Justice said these are currently being charged at up to £700, and that the UK’s half a million whiplash claims per year are adding £90 to the average private motor insurance policy.
Under the reformed system, it is assumed that only one report will be needed, and measures will be put in place to stop the person who produces this report from treating the claimant. Insurers will also be discouraged from settling without a report, and ongoing work could introduce accreditation for the experts who produce them.
‘Honest drivers have been bearing the cost of a system that has been open to abuse and it is time for a change,’ said Grayling. ‘We are determined to have an improved, robust system for medical evidence – so genuine claims can still be settled but fraud is driven out of the market.’
The announcement forms part of the Criminal Justice and Courts Bill being put through Parliament, which will ban lawyers from offering incentives for potential clients and throw out a compensation case if it’s proved to be dishonest.