The central and problematic issue with LVW claims is whether it is possible to suffer from whiplash if the collision takes place at very low speed. Courts are becoming more willing to recognise that not every personal injury claim is brought in good faith.
Against the background of rising concern about the number of whiplash claims, the Government planned to restrict the type of whiplash claims that could be brought.
Papers today are reporting that the Government’s plans to completely remove the right to claim damages for low level whiplash injuries are ‘on hold for the moment.’
The Association of British Insurers has been campaigning against excessive compensation claims, but the insurance industry has itself run into controversy as it has been claimed that savings made from previous reforms have not been passed on to customers.
This whole reform debate raises a number of interesting questions:
(a) how do you distinguish between exaggeration, malingering and outright lying?
(b) is that question one for engineers measuring the impact, doctors examining patients where there is little visible evidence, or judges deciding whether they can trust a witness?
(c) is it possible to justify investigating each LVI case fully when the amount being argued over is so small?
(d) what is the risk of moral hazard, where claimants think that making such claims is easy because most cases will not be fully investigated at trial?
(d) how good are judges at telling whether or not a person is lying?
(e) where someone suffers from a stiff neck should they be expected to accept that without being a claim?
We await seeing what decision the Lord Chancellor makes.