ACSO comments on the Justice select Committee report:
By Law News
Official Injury Claim
Commenting on the House of Commons Justice Committee report on whiplash reform and the Official Injury Claim service, Matthew Maxwell Scott, Executive Director of ACSO, which represents the interests of consumers in the civil justice system and made a submission to the inquiry, said:
"This initial report from the committee is welcome and highlights a number of issues affecting consumers, including delays, the small proportion of genuine litigants in person, technical challenges and low public awareness.
"Overall, it has been an inauspicious start to life for the OIC, and while great efforts have been made to make it fit for purpose, the backlogs the committee draws attention to are of considerable concern.
"Many of these are the result of the challenges in valuing so-called 'mixed-injury cases' where there is a whiplash injury as well as other injuries. While the proportion of such cases has not risen greatly since the OIC's launch, it is clear that the problems they are causing has.
“Therefore we await the result of the insurance industry's appeal against the decision in the Rabot case, and it is sensible that the committee pauses its inquiry and returns to it after the Supreme Court hearings, expected in February 2024.
"Some of the problems highlighted reflect broader issues within civil justice, with court delays at historic highs and civil administration struggling to get on top of the situation. It also shows that the introduction of new portals and other radical changes needs to be considered more carefully in future, with greater cross-industry involvement than was the case with the OIC.
"We would echo the committee Chairman in calling for further investigations and additional reviews to make sure that the whiplash reforms do not lead to further consumer detriment."