car accident

British insurers and your car accident claim

Got a car accident claim? Well look out because The Dalton ‘gang’ plan to carry out daylight robbery.

ABI does not stand for The Association of British Insurers, it stands for Anti-Britain’s Injured and in its howls of hubris-fuelled hyperbole, it never ceases to amaze in its crass attempts to hijack the accident compensation agenda and engage in behaviour befitting Wild West outlaws.

Who do these people at ABI think they are to lecture society on what is good for us? WHAT’S GOOD FOR INSURERS MORE LIKE…

Emboldened by a closed-door tea and biscuits love-in at Number 10 back in 2011, an unseemly and on-going Ministry of Justice love-affair plus tacit support from ‘stalwarts’ of working people’s rights who should know better such as Jack Straw, the insurance industry has suggested for the first time that whiplash compensation could be removed altogether.

James Dalton, head of motor and liability for the Association of British Insurers, said yesterday that it was time for a ‘public policy debate’ on removing all damages for low-value claims, instead asking insurers to pay directly just for treatment.

Dalton has previously called for discussion on reducing damages paid to whiplash victims but this is the first time a complete removal has been mooted.

‘We need a debate about whether someone should be awarded money for a low-value, low-impact and very minor injury claim,’ he told the Modern Claims conference in London. ‘It’s a debate about whether you should be provided with rehabilitation and no cash. That is a legitimate public policy debate for society to have and politicians to decide on.’

Dalton also reignited the argument about the value of solicitors in low-value claims and said the ABI is working on safeguards to persuade the government to raise the small claims limit.


ABI working on Safeguards? This has to be a sick joke. The wolf takes charge of the sheep pen…

Of course the point about so-called low-value-claims is that they might become high-value-claims if personal injury solicitors – especially members of APIL – get involved and manage to circumvent the ABI’s plans to eradicate the principles of justice.



The supine Ministry of Justice last year opted not to increase the limit but Dalton said he was confident that will change ‘depending on the outcome of the election’.

Now why would Dalton be confident? Has the lobbying already been successful? Are we already stuffed?

He added: ‘There will always be a role for PI lawyers in complex, high-value claims – my question is whether there is a place for them at all in low-value factory-based claims. The MoJ made it clear last year there were good arguments for the claims limit to up to £5,000 – that will come up again sooner rather than later.’


WARNING…WARNING…If the MoJ doesn’t hold the line on low-value-claims then the whole edifice will crumble and hurt and injured people might as well give up the struggle. Make no mistake this lot are determined to avoid paying out at any cost.

What exactly is a factory-base claim anyway? Could it be a claim processed by the juvenile call handlers employed by insurance companies to collude with claims management companies, bodyshop garages and car hire firms to DEFRAUD society in the guise of making swift and derisory ‘low-ball’ compensation payments to accident victims?

The ABI like factory-based claims because they are cheaper than fair compensation. They do not want injured people to appoint an independent personal injury solicitor. They do not want injured people seeking proper medical advice to determine the true extent of their injuries and therefore the true value of their claim.


The Motor Accident Solicitors Society (MASS) and Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL) said they would fight any attempt to remove compensation altogether from whiplash victims. We think all interested parties in this debate better ‘smell the coffee’ because we are up against a PR machine that has the ear of government.

MASS chair Craig Budsworth said recompense should always include loss of amenity as well as rehabilitation.

‘Even if their injury means they can’t go to the gym – for some people that is their life and that deserves compensation. We will be saying that is wrong for the innocent accident victim.’

Deborah Evans, chief executive of APIL, said all sides had worked together on ways to combat fraud in the system, but removing solicitors would take away a vital barrier to fraudulent claims.

She added: ‘It has always been much easier when you have the client across the table from you to tell if they are being truthful. The more removed we get from the client the more fraud will prosper.’


We think that there is no working with the ABI. Could they have made their position any clearer? They want to vilify accident victims and marginalise personal injury solicitors.

This is not about lawyers making money – which is still legal, for a while longer if we’re lucky – it is a battle for the hearts and minds of a nation and the type of society we want to see.

We need to get real and get on the front foot or it will be daylight robbery – Wild West style.

Andy Thorogood, Business Development Manager, Bonnar Accident Law