We use cookies to improve this site and enable full functionality. You can change your cookie settings at any time using your browser. Our cookie policy.

APIL clarifies stand on small claims reforms

APIL clarifies stand on small claims reforms | Insurance Business UK

APIL clarifies stand on small claims reforms

The Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL) is setting the record straight.

Yesterday we cited the views of Forum of Insurance Lawyers president James Heath, who believes the reform programme surrounding the road traffic accident whiplash claims process should be supported instead of searching for alternatives to the vision set out by the government.

Heath’s statement came following concerns raised by the likes of APIL, who has since reached out to Insurance Business to offer a clarification on its position about the small claims reforms.

Read more: Trade body calls for optimism on government’s RTA claims vision

APIL president Gordon Dalyell (pictured) drew particular attention to the issue of stakeholder engagement, citing what he described as a fizzling out.

“We have expressed publicly our concern that the development of the new system has continued apace, while meaningful stakeholder engagement which could help shape the very best system for injured people, has fizzled out,” stated Dalyell.

“What began as a promise of genuine stakeholder engagement has become little more than a smokescreen in the rush to build a new system in time for the spring deadline.”

The comments are in line with previous declarations by Credit Hire Organisation (The CHO) chair Kirsty McKno, who pointed to transparency issues supposedly hounding the development of the Litigant in Person (LiP) portal. The undertaking is spearheaded by the Motor Insurers’ Bureau (MIB), which is mandated by the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) to manage the new claims service’s delivery as part of the Civil Liability Act.

“The LiP portal programme has been dogged by lack of transparency and a failure by the MoJ and MIB to ensure that claimant interests are fully accounted for,” said McKno recently. “It is why the CHO and other bodies have asked the Justice Committee to intervene and hold an inquiry to get at the truth of what is really going on.”

Read more: Trade body reacts as MIB provides sneak peek of upcoming whiplash claims service

Meanwhile APIL’s Dalyell told Insurance Business further: “There has been talk for some time of the introduction of a ‘minimum viable product’ which can be added to as time goes on. James Heath says in your article that the [April 2020] deadline ‘should not come at the cost of unintended consequences’.

“Our point is that injured people deserve something better than a ‘minimum viable product’, but the ‘unintended consequence’ of the way this process has been conducted is that this is exactly what they will get.”