Reducing the number and costs of whiplash claims: A consultation on arrangements concerning whiplash injuries in England and Wales

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Britain has become the whiplash capital of the world. Between 2006 and 2012 claims for personal injury caused by road traffic accidents increased by 60%. Whilst over the same period the number of reported road traffic accidents fell by 20%.

With every fraudulent and every exaggerated insurance claim that goes unchallenged the premium of each motorist increases. Insurers estimate that the cost of whiplash claims from road traffic accidents, which comprise 90% of relevant personal injury claims, to the average policy holder is £90 per year.

This consultation document presents options that build upon the significant reforms this Government is already introducing from April 2013, through Part 2 of the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012. Reforms which include making the costs of no win no fee conditional fee agreements more proportionate and fairer between claimants and defendants, as well as banning referral fees in personal injury.

The Government accepts that whiplash injury is a complex issue and that the causes and options to address them in this paper are not the only ones. It's keen to receive further ideas respondents might have to help us deliver our aims in this area. The Ministry of Justice will review all submissions to this consultation and publish a response on the aspects of the current arrangements in Spring 2013.