In The Media - RTA Claims Down but EL Volumes Up

There was good news and bad news this quarter as First4Lawyers continued to provide commentary on the latest developments shaping the PI sector.

Figures from the Compensation Recovery Unit, obtained via a freedom of information request by the Association of Consumer Support Organisations, revealed that motor injury claims fell to a record low of just over 350,000 in 2023 – a figure that has almost halved in the last five years.

Writing in Insurance Claims, our head of marketing Andy Cullwick noted that while RTA claims were down, volumes in other areas such as public liability, employers’ liability and clinical negligence continue to creep up. New categories of claims are also emerging all the time.

Without a collective effort to educate consumers on their legal rights, however, the motor injury market is likely to plateau or shrink still further, he said.

Whiplash reform continues to dominate the headlines, not least the Association of British Insurers’ (ABI) challenge to a Court of Appeal ruling on how to value mixed injury claims, which is finally being heard in the Supreme Court.

Andrew Wild, head of legal practice at First4InjuryClaims, was quoted in the Law Society Gazette, Legal Futures and The Legal Diary ahead of its start.

He said: “Claimants were promised simpler, swifter access to justice when the whiplash reforms were launched nearly three years ago and instead have been faced with uncertainty and delays.

“This has led to a huge and concerning backlog of cases, with the average time taken to settle a case in the Official Injury Claim (OIC) portal now almost 300 days.

“The Court of Appeal’s decision may not have been popular with insurers, but it provided clear, sensible and much-needed guidance, which I hope the Supreme Court will uphold, and urgently, so that vulnerable claimants and the lawyers they continue to need are not left in limbo for any longer than necessary.”

Andrew shared his thoughts on the OIC and what more could be done to streamline the process in a blog for Insurance Claims.

His views on the call for evidence into the whiplash tariff, opened by the Ministry of Justice as part of a statutory review, also featured in articles by Legal Futures and Insurance POST.

“The only conclusion that can be drawn from this review is to uprate the tariff with immediate effect,” he said.

“Accident victims have already been short-changed by the current tariff, which does not reflect the unprecedented hike in inflation, and must not be left out of pocket any longer by a redress scheme which, despite launching less than three years ago, is already out of date.”

Speaking to Legal Futures, he also criticised the ABI’s push to extend the whiplash reforms to include other injuries – purportedly in a bid to cut motor insurance costs – as ‘incredibly premature.’

“The Supreme Court judgment into mixed injury claims is awaited, as is the statutory review of the whiplash tariff, and the FCA’s report on whether motorists have actually seen any savings as a result of the changes to date.

“If the ABI is, as it claims, all about helping consumers make informed decisions then it should follow its own advice and wait until all the facts are known before pushing for further reform.”

Elsewhere, Andy Cullwick was asked to share his insights on how to map out the perfect customer journey in a feature for New Law Journal.   

It is an area he has come to know well as Andy, along with our group director of finance Merton Buckley-Anderson, recently celebrated his 10th anniversary with the business.  

First4Lawyers also featured in Huddersfield Hub which kindly highlighted our continuing support for local foodbank The Welcome Centre. To date, we have donated £5,000 plus food collections to the charity.

Emma Greenough, fundraising manager for the charity, said: “As the cost-of-living crisis continues, more and more people who have never needed to rely on charity before are finding themselves forced to use food banks just to survive.

“£20 is a week’s worth of meals for one person, £50 feeds a small family for a week. Every penny counts and the ongoing support of businesses like First4Lawyers is invaluable.”

You can find out more about The Welcome Centre here.


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