Whiplash Fraud Claims: Insurers Knock Solicitors (Again)
Following on from my article yesterday about Fake Whiplash Claims I see that the insurance industry have been trying to win friends at the recent Motor Accident Solicitors Society conference in Manchester last week. I have spoken at the MASS Conference on a number of occasions. MASS campaigns to bring justice to the victims of road traffic accidents and is an organisation in my opinion that is full of great solicitors who are really good at their job in helping accident victims. Some of the Loyalty Law solicitors are also MASS members.
At their conference one of their speakers was James Dalton who is the Association of British Insurers Assistant Director of Motor and Liability. Historically accident claim solicitors and insurers do not get on that well as their roles are so naturally opposed to each other. Accident claim solicitors try and win compensation for accident claim victims whilst insurers try not to pay out any compensation or to pay out as little as possible so that they can maximise their profits so they do not mix.
So when James Dalton tackled the subject of insurance fraud and claimed that some solicitors must be working with people making fake whiplash claims he was not going to win any friends that is for sure.
“We are convinced that some solicitors are acting as enablers of insurance fraud by acting for fraudulent clients. As a word of caution, the IFB (Insurance Fraud Bureau) is working on ways of making it more difficult for solicitors to abuse the system or become embroiled unwittingly” said Dalton.
The problem with this assumption is that it just does not make any sense. The average costs that a solicitor will receive for a compensation claim for whiplash will be in the region of £1,200. The consequences of a solicitor ‘knowingly’ assisting a fake claim for whiplash is that they will be struck off the solicitors list and will not be able to work in the legal industry. Is Dalton seriously suggesting that lots of solicitors are doing this? Really? Come on. It is just another example of how the insurance industry loves to portray solicitors as the bad guys. The media laps it up (largely because insurers have much more in the way of profits to spend on PR companies and lobbying companies in Government so can keep creating these silly headlines) and solicitors are never given the chance to respond. Everyone loves to attack solicitors, yet who would you trust more, a solicitor or an insurance company? Most people I ask have a horror story or two about insurance companies not paying out when they were supposed to, and most surveys I see confirm that the majority of people are very happy with the service that they receive from solicitors. Certainly if you have even been involved in a serious accident you will understand how hard a solicitor will fight for you to get the compensation that you deserve so that you can rebuild your life, modify your house if necessary and have retraining for work.
I am bored of insurers constantly attacking solicitors because their end game is always the same: if they can stop just one person from making a claim when they are entitled to (i.e. the law is on their side) they are winning. They are winning in their fight to stop paying compensation and to reduce their costs and to increase their profits.
Most solicitors are very good at what they do and fight as hard as they can for their clients (the accident victims) because that is their job and most solicitors I know genuinely enjoy helping people. Our solicitors are all very good at what they do, we know this because you tell us that they are (see satisfied clients comments) and I know this because at Loyalty Law we have spoken with all of them and when each claim is completed we call our clients to make sure that they have received an excellent service. Is it not time to stop knocking solicitors and to start thanking them and giving them some positive media coverage (even just occasionally)?
Solicitor (non practising)
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