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Judge hits out at campaign to cut #insurance claims confirms it is all #bollocks.

By 11th January 2017No Comments
Judge Kevin Cross said it is “entirely untrue” that inflated damages awards have caused increases in premiums
A High Court judge has launched a scathing attack on the insurance industry, the media and some judges who he claims have been influenced by insurers into giving lower damages awards to personal injury claimants.

Judge Kevin Cross, who oversees the personal injury list in the High Court, wrote in barristers’ publication The Bar Review, that it is “entirely untrue” that inflated damages awards have caused increases in premiums.

The judge compared the industry’s campaign with the manipulative actions of corporations portrayed in Vance Packard’s book The Hidden Persuaders.

Cross said no person who decided to make a fraudulent claim was going to be put off by the insurance industry advert showing a person with a neck collar and a Pinocchio-style nose.

“Such advertisements only have the effect of dissuading the timid genuine plaintiff from asserting their rights by the general smearing of injured parties,” he wrote. “The consistent campaign by the hidden persuaders has, it seems, subconsciously influenced the judges.”

Cross insisted that general damages have fallen rather than risen in actual terms. He said taking inflation into account, damages for personal injuries have “dramatically decreased” since the 1970s.

The judge noted that special damages, which compensate people for out-of-pocket expenses such as repairs to a car or loss of earnings, rose in line with the cost of living.

Cross said he did not accept that his fellow judges had been reacting to the change of habits or perspectives of the so-called “reasonable man” by giving reduced damages awards.

He warned that judges should “be wary of mistaking the views of the reasonable man for those articulated in the pavilion of the bar of the local golf club”.

Cross said that in reducing awards recently the judges have been “doing the work of the hidden persuaders, acting on behalf of one of the gladiators in the arena”.

The judge said the insurance industry’s claim that average High Court awards had increased in recent years was “repeated in the media without any scrutiny or comment”. He said it is unclear how insurers could know this given the vast majority of cases are settled and awards not disclosed.

The judge said that litigation costs had fallen. He said the number of insured vehicles on the road had increased from 900,000 in 1985 to 2.5m in 2015. He said the number of collisions involving death or injury had only slightly risen from 5,518 in 1985 to 5,802 in 2014.

“The conclusion is that to blame the increase of premiums on the level of general damages in the courts is entirely untrue,” he said.

This article is care of www.thetimes.co.uk and the original article can be found here.

Tim Kelly

Tim is a highly qualified Independent Engineer with over 20 years experience as an Engineering Assessor of damaged vehicles.

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