UK doctors’ fees for whiplash assessments to be cut sharply

Move by British justice secretary aims to cut number of false claims

UK justice secretary Chris Grayling. Photograph: Anthony Devlin/PA Wire

UK justice secretary Chris Grayling. Photograph: Anthony Devlin/PA Wire

Mon, Aug 4, 2014, 01:08

Doctors’ fees in England and Wales for whiplash injuries’ compensation claims are to be cut sharply in a bid to cut the number of false claims, the British justice secretary has decided.

Nearly 500,000 whiplash claims are made – many of them bogus, ministers argue – are backed up by medical reports that are worth up to £700 (€876) each to doctors.

Under the changes the medical reports can still be written but doctors will be paid a fixed rate of £180, justice secretary Chris Grayling said.

“[This] makes sure that people are paid for what they really do, that claims that go through are genuine and that we drive out some of the practises that are inflating insurance premiums,” he said.

The Conservative/Liberal Democrats coalition is deeply unpopular with solicitors and barristers, as it has already sharply cut fees paid in legal aid cases.

Solicitors are no longer able to double their fees in “no win, no fee” cases, while further curbs stopping them from offering incentives to clients are being discussed by MPs.

The whiplash report price cut could save motorists £90 (€113) a year in insurance premiums but lawyers say insurance companies have not passed on earlier savings.