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Personal Injury has seen a lot of changes over the years, the most recent being The Jackson Reforms which came into force in April 2013. The principal change related to the costs a losing party had to pay. Claimants proceeded pretty much risk free, whilst defendants faced enormous and disproportionate costs on multiple levels. The other principal changes in the reforms relate to costs control in litigation. It is clear that much is aimed at more efficient and proportionate litigation.
More changes are due to be put in place this year, although they have been put on hold.
The proposed reforms are targeted at tackling the compensation culture surrounding minor motor accident injuries. The key aims are to crack down on fraudulent claims and reduce the costs to the motor insurance industry, including the estimated £2bn spent per year on whiplash claims and the £1bn cost.
In 2013 The Association of British Insurers (ABI) says fraud has topped £1 billion a year for the first time seeing 2,390 claims being made every week. In 2015 dishonest motor insurance claims were the most common frauds. There were 67,000 detected, worth £835million. This represented an increase of 12 per cent in 2013.
This change in the market meant that law firms across the board recruited teams of Solicitors, Legal Executives & Paralegals to handle the demand, but, in hindsight shouldn’t have recruited so heavily in a bid to ‘get the most of out of the fraud market at the time’.
There is a future for the fraud market but on a much impacted scale and teams will remain very streamlined.