Comments from a leading CEO within the British insurance industry about limiting damages for personal injury cases nearing limitation reported today are very worrying.
The principle of limitation - the deadline to bring a claim - applying to claims for personal injury (currently 3 years) has been in place for many year most recently since the Limitation Act 1980 came into force. This deadline is already half that of negligence cases that are not based on personal injury.
The idea that insurers have no option but to pay in cases submitted later in that period is a complete fallacy. It is in fact the claimant who is prejudiced because a medical expert might not be able to confirm that an injury is linked to an accident, or witness might not be found.
After all it is the claimant's case to prove.
The essence of our justice system is that a judge determines cases based on the evidence, and if that evidence is compromised by the delay of either party then the learned judge will take this into account when reaching a decision.
Any attempt to prejudice claimants for any other factor is utter nonsense and frankly not to be borne!
leading figure in the insurance industry has said that damages and costs for whiplash injuries should be linked to the time taken to lodge a claim – penalising those who leave it until the last moment. Andy Watson, chief executive of Ageas UK, said a sliding scale of awards would incentivise claimants to start their cases earlier and ensure insurers can properly analyse evidence of injuries.