Bad news for anyone living in Bradford – whiplash claims figures in the city have been found to be double that of the national average, leading to renewed calls for reform of the personal injury compensation system in the UK from one MP for Bradford East.
Lib Dem MP David Ward spoke out on the new figures, stating that Bradford is plagued by gangs of organised criminals staging ‘cash-for-crash’ accidents in order to perpetrate whiplash claim fraud. However, Mr Ward says that there are many motorists striking back against their insurers, making personal injury claims against them motivated by frustration with massive insurance premium hikes.
Legislation is needed, the Bradford East MP said, as the average person is now claiming around £3,300 in whiplash-related damages even as road accident figures are on the decline as a result of improvements made to safety measures and vehicle technology. Vehicle speeds need to be monitored much more closely, Mr Ward said, in that there needs to be a threshold set where people in cars traveling under a certain speed are not eligible for making whiplash claims.
Over the last 12 months to March, around 18 residents out of every 1,000 made a whiplash claim against their insurer. This is double the nine out of 1,000 national average, and with whiplash costing insurance providers around £2 billion annually in costs, something clearly needs to be done to control these costs, industry experts say.
This ‘dysfunctional’ system is mad, and needs to be remedied as soon as possible, Mr Ward said.