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Repair the Right Body
#repairtherightbody

Contact your MP with this simple message First4Lawyers believe that 29 million motorists CAN make a difference

Don't let the government put motors before motorists!

First4Lawyers #RepairTheRightBody campaign is urging members of the public to contact their MPs to protest against government’s plans to reform personal injury claims, and put a stop to repairing cars before repairing people.

Video

#RTRB

This video illustrates how an ordinary person will suffer and be left to fend for themselves, while insurance companies reap the benefits in increased profits.

Support the Campaign

Proposed law reforms will see road traffic accident victims lose out

The government is putting forward changes in the law about what happens to innocent people after a car crash. It seems to think that it is more important to repair a car than a person.

The new reforms are proposed as part of the Civil Liability Bill, which from April 2019 would slash personal injury compensation payments. These reforms have come about because the government, under pressure from the motor insurance sector, asserts that too many people are claiming for injuries. Something for which there is little evidence.

The proposed changes could see the amount of compensation paid to innocent victims slashed by up to £1,850, reducing payouts to as little as £235 for months of pain and suffering. What's more the proposals will cut off access to legal support when trying to make a claim.

This is wrong and we need you to help us change their minds.


Insurers' windfall

The proposed changes would mean that insurers would scoop an estimated £200 million windfall, while road traffic accident victims could see compensation payments fall by up to £1,850.

For example, someone who suffers neck and back injuries for up to three months would receive just £235, representing an 87% cut in compensation. Meanwhile insurers can spend thousands repairing damaged vehicles, as their amounts remain uncapped.
More about the proposed reforms and why we are opposing them

Show your support

Accidents happen, but every motorist in the UK is legally required to buy car insurance to ensure that, if an accident does happen there is money available to repair the vehicle AND human. The proposed reforms will devalue YOUR motor insurance and REMOVE YOUR RIGHTS to seek support for access to justice.

We need your support to tell the government that these proposals are skewed - there is no problem in spending what is needed to get a car back on the road, but apparently those who suffer up to two years of pain and suffering should not receive the compensation that independent judges currently consider they deserve.
How you can support the campaign

Questions for your local MP

  1. Why are insurers making so much profit yet still pushing up the cost of insurance for motorists?
  2. Is it right that insurers can make £ millions from owning vehicle repair centres, yet they say the costs of repairs are going up?
  3. Why does the rise in the Small Claims Limit outstrip the consumer price index?

More questions for your MP and how you can support the campaign

Know the facts

Personal injury claims DOWN 21%

The number of road traffic accident-related personal injury claims fell by 21% between 2011 and 2018. They are now at the lowest level in a decade. Hardly the compensation culture insurers would have us believe.

(Source: Compensation Recovery Unit, claims 2011/12 v. 2017/18)

Cost of repairs UP 16%

Between 2013 and 2014 insurers spent an average 16% more on repairing vehicles while the amount of compensation for those injured in an accident fell by 5%. The proposed changes will see payouts to injured people fall by another £1 billion and innocent accident victims could see compensation reduced by up to 87%.

(Source: Association of British Insurers report)

£1,850 reduction in compensation

Those suffering back and neck injuries that last up to 12 months could see the amount of compensation they are entitled to for pain and suffering reduced by up to £1,850. In some cases accident victims will lose out on almost 87% of the compensation they are entitled to today.

(Source: Ministry of Justice proposed tariffs for minor claims)

£200m windfall

The proposals will lead to a £200m cash windfall for insurers who already make billions of pounds every year, yet only a handful of these firms have publicly stated they will pass on any savings to motorists.

(Source: Government impact assessments of the proposed reforms, published by the Ministry of Justice, November 2016)

1 claim for every 40 vehicles

On average there is one personal injury claim for every 40 vehicles on the UK roads each year. Claims for neck and back injuries account for 49% of all motoring-related personal injury claims. That's the equivalent of one claim for every 80 vehicles on the UK roads.

(Source: First4Lawyers research, comparison of 2014/15 motoring-related claims registered by the Compensation Recovery Unit and number of insured vehicles on UK roads)

£2.6 billion profit

Five of the UK’s leading insurance companies earned over £2.6 billion in profits in 2016, up from £2.3 billion in 2015. The proposed changes will further swell their coffers by hundreds of millions per year and you MAY see your insurance fall by ONLY £40. They’ve never had it so good.

(Source: Annual reports of Aviva, Royal Sun Alliance, Direct Line, LV= and Admiral)

£2 billion in dividends

The UK’s leading insurers paid out £2 billion to their shareholders in 2016. The proposed changes will see insurers and their shareholders earn even more money while innocent motorists see their insurance policies become devalued.

(Source: Annual reports of Aviva, Royal Sun Alliance, Direct Line, LV= and Admiral)

1% of cases fraudulent

While fraud should not be tolerated, the premise of the reforms is that fraud is widespread. However, insurers own figures show that only 1 claim in every 100 is proven to be fraudulent.

(Source: Industry reports on fraud)

Myth buster

Read the newspapers and you might think there is a "compensation culture" running wild in the UK. The truth, however, is very different. Here are a few #RepairTheRightBody myth busters:

 

Myth: People are making claims for anything bad that happens to them

Truth: It's not a free-for-all. The law has been the same for decades - you can only make a claim if you suffer a loss caused by the negligence of another person.

Myth: The number of claims for whiplash is going up and up

Truth: Government figures show that claims for neck and back injuries arising from car crashes (the definition of whiplash) is actually going down and down. The number of whiplash claims registered in 2015/16 was 41% lower than in 2010/11.

Myth: People are 'trying it on' all the time

Truth: Fewer than 3% of the 29 million motor insurance policy holders in the UK make a road traffic injury claim.

Myth: Insurers are putting motorists first

Truth: The insurance industry make billions of pounds every year and often the consumer is furthest from their mind. Whether it's using their own accident repair firms to pay themselves millions of pounds in dividends, or the scandal of over-inflated auto renewal schemes - they are more interested in profit than injured people.

Myth: It is lawyers and claims companies whipping up people to claim

Truth: A survey by Aviva in 2014 indicated that 55% of drivers who made an injury claim went through their insurers. Only 9% went through a claims company.

Also, the No Win No Fee system means that it makes no sense for solicitors to take on bad claims that insurers fight. That’s why 95% of cases like this are won.

Myth: Insurers will pass on the savings they make through lower premiums

Truth: The last set of major reforms to injury claims was in 2013. The Association of British Insurers says the average cost of a bodily injury claim from motoring accidents has fallen by 13% since 2013. In the year 2014/15 this was the equivalent of £556m saving.

Over the same period, the average motor insurance premium has risen by 10%, according to the ABI. Mind you, the salaries of big insurers’ CEOs have been going up nicely in the meantime.

Myth: It is personal injury claims that are driving up the cost of motor insurance

Truth: The insurance industry have back-tracked on this claim now saying it is a combination of rising insurance premium tax, increases in the cost of repairing vehicles and an increase in uninsured drivers that are the causes of rising insurance. But they still want to clobber the injured with grossly unfair reforms.

Myth: People are putting in false claims because it’s easy money

Truth: The insurance industry’s own figures show that less than 1% of claims are considered fraudulent. And that includes cases that they think are fraudulent but haven’t been proved as such by a court.

Myth: These are simple cases that anyone can do in the Small Claims Court

Truth: A case may be relatively low value but that does not make it simple. Do you know how to prove liability, causation and quantum? And then calculate the appropriate interest? Do you know how to organise witnesses of fact and bring them to court? Or brief medical or expert witnesses and get them to court too? Can you pay for medical and other reports?

This is not easy and is why insurance companies will continue to use lawyers, whatever court the case is in.

Myth: It’s good for society if claims like this are reduced

Truth: It’s not good on several levels. If people are injured and decide not to claim because it’s too difficult or not worth it, then the cost of treating them will fall on the NHS and the cost of sickness benefit on the government. If there is a claim, these costs can be recovered from the negligent driver’s insurer.

It is wrong that people injured by the negligent driving of another should not be compensated for the losses they have suffered. That is what the law is there for.