Personal injury claim numbers continue to fall

Motor claims: Small decline last year

The number of personal injury claims registered with the Compensation Recovery Unit (CRU) fell over the last year to the lowest point in a decade, newly published figures have shown.

In the year to 31 March 2020, the CRU registered 862,356 claims, a 3.8% drop on the previous year, of which 653,052 were motor claims, 7,556 fewer than in 2018/19.

With the whiplash reforms coming in next April, the motor figure seems to have stabilised around this mark for three years now.

The CRU, which is part of Department for Work and Pensions, works to recover the amounts of social security benefits paid or NHS costs incurred as a result of an accident, injury or disease, if a compensation payment has been made.

There were significant drops in the number of public liability claims reported to the CRU in the past year (72,587, down 15%) as well as employer’s liability cases (79,027, down 12%), while clinical negligence claims dipped 5.7% to 15,845.

Matthew Maxwell Scott, executive director of the Association of Consumer Support Organisations, said the figures showed the “continuing long term reduction in motor-related injury claims”.

He pointed out that, over a 10-year period, all claims have fallen, with the exception of clinical negligence, and those too have fallen year on year since 2015.

“That long-term declining trend across most if not all classes of claim underlines our view that the UK is not in the grip of a rampant compensation culture, which some policymakers and corporate vested interests would have us believe.

“It remains to be seen what sort of impact the Covid-19 pandemic will have on the numbers, but they are likely to fall significantly between March and June, given the reduction in traffic.”

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