APIL Warns of Insurer’s Advantage in Small Claims Court

Published: 21st March 2013

In a recent article featured on an APIL newsletter, the organisation outlined how its campaign against proposals to raise the small claims court limit has been continuing in a series of national and regional broadcast interviews.

APIL president Karl Tonks took part in interviews on BBC One’s Breakfast, BBC Radio 5 Live, and BBC Radio Manchester, after the Association of British Insurers (ABI) published its own proposals for reforming whiplash claims.

“Insurance companies are going to do the best for themselves and pay less than the fair level of compensation to injured people in the small claims court,” he argued. “Insurers want to deal with claims on their own terms, that is why injured people must be represented.”

Executive committee member Jonathan Wheeler also took part in a similar head-to-head interview on BBC Radio Hereford and Worcester.

“It’s a David and Goliath situation,” he said. “Because whilst you, as an injured victim, will have to deal with the claim yourself in the small claims court, you can bet your life the insurance company against you will have a lawyer representing them. It’s not fair and I don’t think it is access to justice.”

A press release was issued following Karl’s interviews on Wednesday morning. It was published on the Daily Telegraph’s website, as well as on Litigation Futures and POST Online.

APIL has submitted a response to the consultation ‘Reducing the number and cost of whiplash claims’, which closed on Friday 8 March.

In response to the article, a specialist personal injury solicitor from Liddy’s Solicitors in Wakefield and Barnsley said: “I would urge all members of the public to lobby their MP to seek to ensure the Small Claims Track limit for Personal Injury claims is not increased above the current levels, as this will have a serious impact upon their ability to gain access to justice in the future.

“To put it simply, in future it is likely that they will have to seek to recover any compensation without the assistance of a Solicitor, who will be unwilling to act because they will not get paid.”