Weekly whiplash news review: 7 days ended 26 DEC 2012:
It’s been a bit less than a month since the Ministry of Justice announced that it will be consulting on brand new ways to reduce both the cost and volume of personal injury compensation claims for whiplash injury, and already one major rehabilitation trade body has thrown their weight behind the announcement. The British Assocation of Rehabilitation Companies joins other industry bodies such as the British Insurance Brokers’ Association in expressing their support for the Government’s attempt to reduce the impact that whiplahsh injury has upon the industry as a whole.
Whiplash can lead to serious medical issues due to soft tissue injury of the neck and shoulders, and with treatments for neck injury of this type little more than simply living with the pain until it subsides, many chronic whiplash sufferers can miss days, weeks, or even months of work due to debilitating neck pain. Official estimates on how much the UK economy loses due to employee absence and treatment costs is more than £3 billion on an annual basis, and with more than 500,000 whiplash injury claims made in the last year alone, the problem is a quite serious one.
BARC’s chairman, Dave Bingham, commented on the news hat the Ministry of Justice is putting its nose to the grindsone, remarking that the industry trade body is quite keen on having its voice heard when it comes to the consultation. It’s a major priority for BARC to be involved, added Mr Bingham, who went so far as to say that the trade body needs to have its own consultation with the MoJ on securing a stakeholder meeting with the ministry.
There are plenty of issues at play when it comes to managing the costs of whiplash claims, said Mr Bingham, such as the issue of referral fees, but there are plenty of contributing factors that can and should be addressed in the new consultation. The role that rehabilitation plays cannot be understated when it comes to the recovery of those injured in road traffic accidents, the chairman added, stating that better treatment for accident-related injuries can and will help to reduce the value and volume of insurance claims, thus driving down insurance premium prices as well.