Whiplash ‘could be the new PPI’, lawyers warn

Spam texting and cold calling could explode under Government plans to force hundreds of thousands of road traffic victims into the small claims court system.

The Government consultation ‘Reducing the number and cost of whiplash claims’, proposes that huge numbers of people injured in road traffic accidents will have to bring claims for compensation in a court which is designed for individuals to represent themselves rather than take legal advice.

But the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL) has warned that this gap in legal advice will be exploited by claims management companies (CMCs) who have a reputation for marketing through intrusive and unwelcome cold calling and text messaging.

“Cold calls, and spam text messages encouraging personal injury claims are likely to become more prevalent, just as we’ve seen for mis-sold payment protection insurance claims,” said APIL president Karl Tonks.

“The Government’s proposal effectively represents a business opportunity for CMCs to run claims for injured people in the same way they have taken on PPI claims.

“The fact that CMCs involved in the PPI scandal account for the vast majority of consumer complaints received by the Ministry of Justice speaks for itself,” he added.

“If these proposals go ahead, an unintended consequence will surely be that claims management companies, who are not bound by the Solicitors’ Code of Conduct, will do what they do best – openly tout for claimants and run very large numbers of what could be potential dubious claims.”