Whiplash (Compensation)

Oral Answers to Questions — Justice – in the House of Commons at 11:30 am on 13th November 2012.

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Photo of David Mowat David Mowat Conservative, Warrington South 11:30 am, 13th November 2012

Whether he has made a comparative assessment of the number of claims for compensation for whiplash injuries in courts in (a) the UK, (b) France and (c) Germany.

Photo of Helen Grant Helen Grant The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Women and Equalities

We have not conducted comparative assessments, but we know that whiplash claims are higher in England and Wales than elsewhere. The increase in whiplash claims at a time when there are fewer reported road traffic accidents is unacceptable. The Government will consult shortly on measures to tackle the cost of whiplash claims.

Photo of David Mowat David Mowat Conservative, Warrington South

The very high level of claims in the UK pushes up insurance premiums for ordinary people by hundreds of pounds a year. In Germany, two medical opinions are required before claims go forward. Are we considering introducing that here, and what other measures are we considering to sort out this industry?

Photo of Helen Grant Helen Grant The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Women and Equalities

The Government are committed to finding ways of tackling fraudulent whiplash claims. We are about to consult on increasing the small claims threshold for personal injury claims arising from road traffic accidents from £1,000 to £5,000. We are also about to consult on the creation of independent medical panels, which could improve diagnosis, transparency, consistency and identification in respect of exaggerated injuries.