Lawyers submit application for judicial review of whiplash medical report reforms

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An application has been submitted to the High Court in Manchester by a group of lawyers seeking a judicial review of amendments made to whiplash claim medical reports.

The group, led by JMW Solicitors, first raised the possibility of challenging the Government back in December. It has now decided to try and secure a judicial review after arguing that changes to medical reporting procedures would impose severe restrictions on more than 900,000 people who make legitimate whiplash claims each year.

In the application for a judicial review, the group of Personal Injury law firms claim that ministers failed to conduct adequate consultation before announcing the amendments, which it alleges are themselves irrational and “unfair”.

Mark Jones, a partner at JMW Solicitors, which is acting for the group, revealed that officials at the Ministry of Justice had already indicating that they were treating the development seriously.

“Even though we have been in contact with Government since our concerns were first raised, we feel that those exchanges have resulted in insufficient progress.

“Given the considerable impact which these changes will have on how clients pursue whiplash claims and the prospect of further consequences for those making other types of personal injury and civil claims, we view a judicial review as a very necessary step to take.

Jones added that the group was in full agreement with ministers and the insurance industry about the need to clamp down on the number of fraudulent claims, but said that the Government’s proposals were not only the wrong way to go about tackling fraud, but could also end up impeding justice.

Jones indicated that if the High Court agreed that there were indeed grounds for a review, a full hearing on the matter could take place before the summer.

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Marek Handzel

Marek Handzel is the editor of Claims Magazine. Marek welcomes articles, letters, or feedback from readers and can be reached by emailing marek.handzel@barkerbrooks.co.uk