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Whiplash reforms delayed until April 2021

whiplash reforms

The whiplash reforms are a package of measures introduced by the Ministry of Justice to change the way low value claims arising out of a road traffic accident are dealt with. The reforms were first proposed in 2015 with a view to making it harder for people to claim compensation for exaggerated or fraudulent whiplash […]

Written by
Lindsey Richmond
Lindsey Richmond
Chartered Legal Executive

The whiplash reforms are a package of measures introduced by the Ministry of Justice to change the way low value claims arising out of a road traffic accident are dealt with.

The reforms were first proposed in 2015 with a view to making it harder for people to claim compensation for exaggerated or fraudulent whiplash claims. This will be done in two ways:-

  1. By introducing a fixed amount payable for injuries lasting less than two years and therefore reducing the amount of compensation payable. At present the level of compensation is assessed by comparing the level of injuries with similar cases which has progressed though Court and by referring to the guidelines published by the Judicial College.
  2. By reducing the amount an insurer must pay in costs by increasing the small claims track from £1000 to £5000. This will mean that insurers will not have to pay solicitors fees for a claim worth less than £5000. Initially the increase in the small claims track limit will not apply to those who have been termed “vulnerable road-users”, for example, motor-cyclists, cyclists and pedestrians. The increase in the small claims track limit will also not apply to children or protected parties.

Below is a comparative table as to what these reforms will mean in terms of compensation.

INJURY DURATIONNEW TARIFFCURRENT JC GUIDELINES
0-3 MONTHS£235UPTO £2150
4-6 MONTHS£470£2150-£3810
7-9 MONTHS£805£2150-£3810
10-12 MONTHS£1250£2150-£3810
13-15 MONTHS£1910£3810-£6920
16-18 MONTHS£2790£3810-£6920
19-24 MONTHS£3910£3810-£6920

These changes will mean that an increased number of people will have to pay their own legal costs even if their case is successful. There will be a number of injured people that simply cannot afford this and will have no option but to represent themselves.

The Law Society have been actively opposing the implementation of these reforms on the basis that the tariff system will not adequately compensate injured parties. They have also opposed the increase in the Small Claims limit due to the impact it will have on access to justice. The Law Society has suggested to the Ministry of Justice that they should tackle the fraud instead of introducing changes that will affect legitimate changes.

The Government has now announced that these changes, which were due to come into force on 1st August 2020, will now be implemented in April 2021.

The Personal Injury Team at Rotheras are delighted that the Government has announced this delay as it means that our dedicated team of specialists can continue to ensure that parties who sustain whiplash injuries as a result of a road traffic accident are properly advised and compensated.

Contact The Personal Injury team

For advice on Road Traffic Accidents, our experienced team act on a ‘No Win, No Fee’ basis and we can assist with claims of varying severity, from minor whiplash claims to serious catastrophic injuries. We’re ready to support you through and ensure you get you get the compensation you deserve, contact our Personal Injury team on enquiries@rotheras.co.uk or call 0115 910 0600.

We are members of the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL) and we are accredited with the Law Society’s Personal Injury scheme.

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