First4Lawyers, the fastest-growing marketing collective in the UK, has today launched a campaign urging members of the public to tell their MPs that the government’s plans to reform personal injury claims are wrong to prioritise repairing cars over repairing people.
First4Lawyers has produced an animation that illustrates how an ordinary person will suffer and left to fend for themselves against insurance companies that will just see their profits go up as a result.
It tells the tale of Jane, who suffers painful injuries as a result of an accident caused by a ‘boy racer’ but is left totally exposed by the government’s reforms.
Under the Civil Liability Bill the compensation payable to those injured in road traffic accidents, through no fault of their own, will be heavily capped, but there will be no limit on how much can be spent repairing their damaged vehicle.
The bill – which has its second reading in the House of Lords today – would see the compensation paid to someone who suffers neck and back injuries for up to three months, inhibiting their everyday activities, fall to just £235. At present, the average award, recognising the pain and inconvenience of such an injury, is £1,750.
The new tariff goes up in stages, but at each stage the sum is significantly lower than the current level of compensation. For an injury that lasts for a year, for example, what is now an average award of £3,100 will be slashed to £1,250.
However, when it comes to what are called ‘special damages’, such as the cost of repairing the damaged car, there is to be no cap.
Further, by changing the Civil Procedure Rules and classing all road traffic accident claims below £5,000 – which is almost all of them – as small claims, most injured people will have to pursue their cases without legal help, even though they will be up against lawyers instructed by the other side’s insurer.
Using the hashtag #RepairTheRightBody, the campaign will be spread across social media, with all MPs on Twitter being directly targeted, and members of the public will be encouraged to go to the First4Lawyers campaign page, learn more about what is happening, and contact their MP to protest.
First4Lawyers managing director Qamar Anwar said: “Our campaign highlights the government’s skewed priorities – there is no problem in spending what is needed to get a car back on the road, but apparently those who suffer up to two years of pain and suffering should not receive the compensation that independent judges now consider they deserve.
“Let nobody be fooled that insurance premiums will go down as a result. The simple fact is that the only winner here is the insurance industry. We call on MPs and the government to make sure that they repair the right body.”