The defendant costs specialists

Posts made in July, 2016

Whiplash claims down?

By on Jul 8, 2016 | 1 comment

The mysterious issue of the disappearing (according to the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers) whiplash claims merits some further analysis. On-line information quotes the number of whiplash claims in 2010/11 as being 571,111.  That year there were 790,999 overall motor claims.  The number of non-whiplash claims was therefore 219,888 (790,999 less 571,111). If (according to APIL) the total number of whiplash claims has dropped by 41% in 2015/16 it must mean whiplash claims were down to, about, 336,955 (59% of 571,111).  The overall number of motor claims that year was 770,791.  That would leave a balance of (about) 433,846 (770,791 less 336,955) non-whiplash claims. That is almost a doubling (from 219,888 to 433,846) of non-whiplash injuries during a period where overall claim numbers were basically unchanged. That is bunkum.  Nothing could explain such a dramatic change in the nature of injuries suffered in RTAs during such a relatively brief period of time (with no significant changes in car design, seatbelt use, road congestion, etc.) (Government figures give the number of pedal cyclist casualties reported to the police (not claims) as a result of road accidents in 2014 as 21,287.  Even allowing for a very major increase in the number of cyclists since 2010/11, with a corresponding increase in casualties, and allowing for the fact the number of claims may be higher than the number of accidents reported to the police, an increase in cycling injuries does not seem to be a remotely plausible explanation for the massive increase in non-whiplash claims.) So, where have the whiplash claims gone and what type of injuries have massively increased at exactly the same time?  If this is a genuine change, personal injury lawyers must have noticed something significant happening over the past few years.  But what? In the absence of anything more plausible being advanced, I am sticking to my theory that there has been no significant reduction in whiplash injuries but simply the result of some (probably dubious) reclassification of injuries...

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Legal cost textbooks

By on Jul 6, 2016 | 3 comments

I recently received a marketing email from a legal publisher offering 30% of all their looseleaf titles including Greenslade on Costs. I cannot remember the last time I saw anyone (be they costs judge, counsel, costs lawyer or law costs draftsman) refer to Greenslade or Butterworths Costs Service. Now, these are both fairly expensive looseleaf publications to buy and must be expensive to the publishers to produce.  But do any practitioners currently use them or do they just lie unread gathering dust in law...

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Brexit – Some home truths

By on Jul 4, 2016 | 0 comments

I have held back for as long as humanly possible from commenting on Brexit, but can do so no more. Can we therefore all agree on some basic facts? All those who voted Remain are unprincipled little money-grabbers.  The only reason anyone voted Remain is because they believed they would be financially better off in than out, particularly in light of the predictions about the terrible financial consequences of a Leave vote.  The 48% of the population who voted Remain would sell their sovereignty, freedom and own grandmothers for a few extra quid in their back pockets.  The Remain campaign ran like an advertisement for a downmarket Wonga.  Remainers are all selfish, greedy little Gollums now crying over the loss of their Precious. Those who voted Leave are all nasty xenophobes and racists.  They gave not the slightest thought to national or international security as a result of shattering European unity.  The older generation were prepared to destroy the lives of the young just to try to avoid having someone with brown skin moving in next door.  The 52% who voted Leave are all small minded, petty little bigots, without an ounce of compassion or decency, hell bent on destroying world peace (and probably all in the pay of Putin). Leave supporter Keith Chegwin was more trusted by the British people that Remain supporter David Beckham on the issue of macroeconomics. The vast, overwhelmingly majority of young people wanted to remain in the EU and have had their dreams shattered by the selfish old.  The proof of this is that as many as one in three young people voted Remain.  The other two in three either voted Leave or cared so little about the issue, and were so busy posting selfies of themselves on Facebook, that they could not be bothered to walk to the local polling station or send in a postal vote. In the two days following the Brexit vote the FTSE 100 crashed 6%, reflecting the markets’ view that Brexit will be an economic disaster for this country.  In the following few days (and at the time of writing) the FTSE 100 recovered so much ground that it is now 3% above pre-Brexit levels.  This reflects...

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Whiplash numbers – myth or fact?

By on Jul 1, 2016 | 0 comments

The EU Referendum debate was plagued by the most outrageous selective, misleading and simply untruthful use (by both sides) of figures and statistics.  Thankfully we can now get back to the proper business of the law where we can trust lawyers to use figures and statistics in an honest and open manner that genuinely supports their position. Oh. Wait.  I had forgotten about APIL.  For the third straight year running they are repeating the same old discredited nonsense.  Have these people no shame? APIL tweeted on 27 June 2016: “Whiplash claims have fallen 41% since 2010/11. Let’s build policy based on fact, rather than myth.” Access to Justice Action joined in by retweeting this and adding: “Insurers are pushing #dodgydata @APIL. Claims have fallen but motorists have paid £353 MILLION MORE in premiums!” So what does the CRU data actually say has happened to motor claims since 2010/11? The figures for settlements recorded shows the number of motor claims as: 2010/11                659,671 2015/16                732,788 I am taking “settled” to mean claims where damages were paid (but am happy to be corrected on that).  So the actual figures for motor claims settled shows a fairly significant increase in claims where insurers have had to pay out.  This will, understandably, be reflected in higher premiums.  This is how insurance works. More commonly, commentators focus on the number of claims registered.  What does the CRU data show? 2010/11                790,999 2015/16                770,791 This is, by my calculations, a statistically irrelevant 2.6% drop. So far as I can see, the DWP website gives no breakdown to show the number of whiplash claims as opposed to non-whiplash claims.  We will give APIL the benefit of the doubt and assume their “whiplash” figures come from the CRU data and they have not simply made this up. If claim numbers are largely unchanged over this period but whiplash claims are down around 40%, it must mean non-whiplash claims are up by exactly the same amount in terms of absolute numbers. Whiplash claims are generally claims that fall at the lower end of the injury scale in terms of damages paid.  It is difficult to see how these figures can be interpreted as meaning anything other than that...

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