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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 suffered.

    1 Comment

  1. I agreed that further investigation is necessary to ascertain a number of the effects of the changes bought in since April 2013 not least of which is an analysis of the types of claims being brought and injuries claimed to see if the changes so far have in fact had any impact and if so what this has been. There also needs to an analysis of the effect of the changes on the bringing of fraudulent claims.
    In addition there needs to be an analysis of the effect of any changes identified on the cost of insurance both now and the trend for the future.
    Unfortunately this is information on the whole that the insurance industry hold and where such analysis could be undertaken more easily but they do not appear to be willing to share that information or data openly with APIL as their agenda is very different from APIL’s.
    Yes there are a lot of assumptions being made, including from your good self, but it is unlikely we are going to get much more concrete information or data until the insurance industry decide to be more open and transparent with the data they hold and make this more accessible to APIL and other interested organisations who wish to look into this issue.
    Sad but true.

    Dawn Slow

    8th July 2016

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