A group representing the personal injury sector has started the fightback against government plans to implement sweeping rerforms.
A2J (Access to Justice), which has financial backing from 38 firms, accused insurers of deliberately misleading ministers to ensure legislation which favours them.
The government plans to scrap general damages for soft-tissue injuries and increase the small claims limit from £1,000 to £5,000, with a consultation on both measures imminent.
A2J says it wants to provide members with a united voice to fight the proposals and will work with the government and insurers to create balanced alternatives which address concerns about fraud.
The group, which ran a similar campaign in the build-up to the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012, will co-ordinate the lobbying of MPs and will contact injured people and charities to help support their case. Funding will also be allocated to commission research into possible alternative options.
A2J chair Martin Coyne (pictured), managing director of Manchester firm Ralli Ltd, said the government is being ‘hoodwinked’ by the insurance industry’s promise of lower premiums and it was time to make ministers understand the full implications of their proposals.
He said: ‘Members of the public who have a genuine claim will be denied access to justice, even for quite serious injury cases, and premiums will continue to rise as insurers replace falling investment income with higher prices.
‘It’s great news for insurance company executives and shareholders but terrible for those hurt through no fault of their own on our roads.’
Coyne said A2J strongly supported action to clamp down on cold calling, tougher regulation of claims management companies and action on fraud.
But he suggested more could be done through sharing data and prosecuting fraudsters, neither of which require legislation.