Justice secretary Chris Grayling will turn his attention to tackling third-party capture after last week rejecting an increase to the £1,000 small claims track limit.
Grayling pledged to end insurers’ ‘practice of making offers to settle claims without requiring medical records’, in the government’s response to its consultation on whiplash.
The government also expects insurers to share more fraud data with claimant lawyers and for firms to check potential clients more effectively before taking on claims.
The Ministry of Justice will create an independent panel of whiplash specialists to assess all soft-tissue injuries.
But despite ‘good arguments’, Grayling said increasing the small claims track threshold to £5,000 ‘may deter access to justice for the genuinely injured and encourage the growth of those disreputable claims firms which so damage the industry’.
Law Society chief executive Desmond Hudson hailed the decision as ‘good news for accident victims and a victory for common sense’.
The Association of Personal Injury Lawyers described the decision as a ‘huge relief’ and said Grayling ‘appears to have recognised that genuinely injured people would have their much-needed access to justice compromised’.
But James Dalton, head of motor and liability for the Association of British Insurers, said the group will continue to campaign for a £5,000 limit.