The Ministry of Justice have confirmed today that the further delayed whiplash reforms are scheduled to be implemented in May 2021. In this article, we explain what the whiplash reforms mean to those wishing to pursue a personal injury claim.
What are the whiplash reforms?
Whiplash reforms is the commonly-used term for the package of measures introduced by the Government and are intended to reform the way that the majority of road traffic accident personal injury claims are dealt with. The reforms can be summarised as follows:
- Changes to the Small Claims Limit (details below)
- The introduction of a set tariff of compensation for certain injury types (details below)
The whiplash reforms will undoubtedly make it more difficult for an individual to make a personal injury claim if the injury is sustained is as a result of a road traffic accident (RTA). In addition, under the new reforms, claimants with successful claims are likely to receive far less compensation compared to the current rules.
Changes to Small Claims Limit Under New Reforms
Under the new rules, the Small Claims limit will increase from the current limit of £1,000 to £5,000 (with an exception of no change for ‘vulnerable road users’ ).
In practical terms this means that your legal fees will not be paid by the Defendant’s insurers in a road traffic claim where the value of your injuries is less than £5,000. As the majority of road traffic injuries are valued at less than £5,000 (this excludes any compensation for financial losses such as loss of earnings ad medical expenses, we are just looking at the pain and suffering here) it means that an individual will no longer have an easy, no-cost way of accessing the assistance and valuable advice of a lawyer because your lawyer will not get paid by the Defendant’s insurers even if your claim is successful.
Introduction of a Tariff of compensation
Under the new reforms there will be the introduction of a new fixed tariff of compensation for individuals who has suffered a soft tissue injury (rather than, for example a fracture) as a result of a road traffic accident.
For example, if you suffer a soft tissue injury (or whiplash injury) to your neck or back which causes symptoms for 3 months, then regardless of how long you were off work or incapacitated during that 3 months period the proposed tariff sets the compensation level at £275 rather than the current average of between £1,500 and £1,800.
What do the Whiplash Reforms mean for Claimants?
For those looking to make a personal injury claim relating to whiplash it is likely to be much more difficult under the new rules for the reasons stated above.
Unfortunately, it may put accident victims off making a claim because of the concerns of the complexities of bringing a claim without legal representation and the potential costs involved.
As a leading Law Firm specialising in personal injury claims, we recommend bringing any outstanding
personal injury claim as soon as possible under the current rules to avoid missing out compensation you could be entitled to.
Making a Personal Injury Claim
If you’ve suffered an accident, injury or illness in the last 3 years that wasn’t your fault contact us today on 033 3344 9600 or simply email email@example.com with your request. Our experienced personal injury solicitors offer a free initial consultation, where we will discuss your potential claim with you and assess if we think you have a claim to pursue.