10 June 2014
LMA response to MoJ ‘whiplash’ proposals: cut medical fees and improve examinations
In its response to the Government’s consultation on the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) proposals on fixed costs for medical examinations/reports and related issues, the Lloyd’s Market Association (LMA) has outlined its support for the introduction of fixed costs for whiplash medical reports. However, the LMA’s response goes on to stress the representative body’s belief that the suggested medical fees are too high and would have little impact in arresting costs for insurance customers.
In its letter to the Government, the LMA suggested:
- the introduction of a new medical protocol for whiplash claimants, to identify genuine claims
- introduction of an accreditation process for medical experts conducting examinations
medical examination of whiplash claimants to take place within 60 days of the accident rather than the current limit of three years
insurers’ ability to offer to settle before a medical examination has taken place should remain an option until the above reforms have been adopted.
The LMA said that it supported the introduction of fixed fees for medical evidence regarding claims for soft-tissue injuries and the introduction of full independence regarding the commissioning and provision of medical reports.
David Powell, the LMA’s underwriting manager, said: “The introduction of fixed costs is helpful, but unless the medical examination itself is standardised and improved, then we see no prospect of a significant reduction in fraudulent or marginal whiplash claims.”
Commenting on the medical examinations, Powell added: “The major problem with whiplash claims, regardless of these changes being discussed, is that the medical examination itself is not fit for purpose from a civil justice perspective. There are two reasons for this. First, the examination can take place at any point up to three years after the accident, and second, a typical examination does little to help identify which whiplash claimants actually satisfy the common law burden of proof regarding whether or not they are injured, and if so, how.”
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Notes to Editors
For further information please contact:
James Milne, Communications Manager
Lloyd’s Market Association
T 0207 327 8405
T 020 7623 2368
About the Lloyd’s Market Association (LMA)
Formed in 2001 and located in the heart of the Lloyd’s Building in the City of London, the Lloyd's Market Association represents the interests of the Lloyd’s underwriting community. All underwriting businesses at Lloyd’s are members, together managing gross premium income of around £26 billion per annum.
For more information visit: www.lmalloyds.com