The Ministry of Justice (MoJ) has informed stakeholders that publication of performance data and statistics from the first three months of the Official Injury Claim (OIC) portal has been “delayed by a few weeks” due to “the recent change in ministerial responsibilities”.  

The controversial ‘whiplash portal’ launched earlier this year over the late bank holiday weekend, amid concerns over access to justice and lower levels of compensation for victims.

Andy Cullwick of First4Lawyers said: “The release of data should not be a political issue and certainly a change in ministers should make no difference whatsoever – what decision do they need to take?”.

He questioned whether the MoJ may have other reasons for the delay – “The obvious conclusion to draw is that the data does not paint a happy picture and the MoJ is playing for time before having to deliver the message that the Official Injury Claim (OIC) portal just isn’t working”.

Cullwick’s view is that the portal “is simply… way too difficult for most people to navigate on their own”. He added: “OIC was built on the basis that injured people would not need a lawyer to use the system, but insurer data indicates that only around 10 per cent of people are going it alone. So on its fundamental metric, the portal is a bust”.

He added: “The other main problem is how so-called mixed claims – involving multiple injuries, some covered by the OIC tariff and others not – are dealt with.

“Everyone knew this would be a huge spanner in the works but the MoJ has simply shrugged its shoulders and thrown it to the courts to decide at some point in the future. In the meantime, injured people are left in limbo and the delay in releasing the OIC data is the least of their problems.”

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