New evidence about whiplash claims was launched in Parliament last Thursday (November 8).
Based on independent research, The Whiplash Report 2012 dispels common myths about whiplash claims with the aim of clearing the way for sensible debate about the issue.
APIL president Karl Tonks told MPs and peers at a House of Commons reception: “The people who suffer these injuries are genuine.
“Honest claimants are not the problem – the problem is fraud, and fraud must be tackled by all sides working together if we are going to eliminate it.”
Among the research findings is the fact that 80 per cent of whiplash sufferers either report their symptoms accurately or underplay them, and 90 per cent of people seek a medical diagnosis.
The report also includes a ten-point plan to cut fraudulent claims out of the system.
Research on the duration of whiplash symptoms, the number of people who actually claim damages and the approach of the insurance industry are all included in the report, as well as the impact of road congestion and improved car design on road crash injuries.
Tonks used the opportunity to address concerns about potentially radical changes to health and safety law currently going through Parliament which, he said ‘could inadvertently put lives at risk by sending out the message to employers that the safety of their workers doesn’t matter’.
He spoke about problems faced by people with catastrophic injuries whose compensation does not meet their care needs, pointing out that ‘if the injured person cannot pay for his care, the state must pick up the cost instead of the person who has injured him’.
He told guests ‘that much of the hype and hyperbole surrounding personal injury claims detracts from the very serious issue of how best to look after people who have been injured through no fault of their own’.
For all the latest news see Thursday’s (November 15) Echo.