Defendant law firm Weightmans has said that its claimant rival Thompsons has cherry picked from its analysis of official MoJ data to argue that the Government is not justified in pushing forward with reform of soft tissue injury claims.
Weightmans has stressed that its analysis makes it clear that while the volume of some claims have fallen, the value has risen. In particular, it points out that the average value of road traffic accident claims has risen by 3.4%.
Weightmans also said that while the increase in the average value of small RTA injury claims in the two-year period was at a slower rate than seen in previous years, it still represented “damages creep” as it was above the rate of inflation. This fact, it said, bolsters the argument for the introduction of reforms such as the increasing tariff limit for whiplash claims.
Thompsons chose to highlight statistics from Weightmans showing that motor insurance premiums have risen by £110, up 16% since this time last year, despite the cost of pay outs to injured motorists and workers all going down. Analysis by Weightmans found that road traffic accidents and public liability claims dropped by 7% and 12% respectively, while workplace accident and disease claims decreased by 21% in the last year.
When it first revealed its research, Bavita Rai, an insurance partner at the defendant firm, said: “The continuing, high increases we are seeing in the pay-outs awarded for injury claims is a cause for concern, indicating that an over-inflationary pressure on claims values remains an issue for insurers and their customers.”
Weightmans carried out a detailed analysis of data from the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) Claims Portal between January 2015 and December 2016 to compile its report.