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What will be the impact of new whiplash reforms on personal injury claims?

What will be the impact of new whiplash reforms on personal injury claims?

​The new Whiplash Reforms, contained in the Civil Liability Act 2018, will come into effect from 31 May this year. The reforms will change the personal injury claims process for those wishing to pursue a claim for some road traffic accidents (‘RTA’). They apply to low value personal injury claims and mean that claimants will have the opportunity to settle small personal injury claims without the need to go to court, or for legal representation.

We have been through the changes and set out a summary below of the key points. You will be able to claim if you meet the following criteria:

  • You are aged 18 or over
  • The accident happened in England or Wales
  • The accident happened on or after the 31 May 2021
  • You were inside a vehicle
  • You believe the accident was not your fault

Key changes

  1. Introduction of a fixed tariff of compensation exclusively for pain, suffering and loss of amenity for whiplash claims up to a duration of two years. This tariff will determine the personal injury damages claimants will receive for whiplash injuries.
  2. A ban on settling whiplash claims without medical evidence. The Official Injury Claim Service will enable claimants to source medical reports to ensure claims are supported by medical evidence before settlement.
  3. Increasing the Small Claims Track (SCT) limit for Road Traffic Accident-related Personal Injury claims from £1,000 to £5,000.  The overall limit for the Small Claims Track, including out of pocket expenses (such as loss of earnings and damage to your car and property), is set at £10,000.
  4. Introduction of the Official Injury Claim Service which has been carefully designed to provide claimants with a modern, accessible, user-friendly digital system, supported by guidance. The service will enable all claimants, particularly those without legal representation, to make and settle their own claim pre-court.
  5. Introduction of a new online 'portal' called ‘Official Injury Claim’ to enable an injured party to register their own claim directly with the insurers without the need for any legal representation. 

Changing the way claims are valued

Kiran Jalota, Head of Medical Negligence and Personal Injury said, 'The reforms will tackle the high number and costs of whiplash claims, and the impact these have on the cost of motor insurance premiums. It is also hoped that they will deter an increasing number of fraudulent claims.'

Kiran adds, 'It is worth pointing out that the new whiplash reforms will not impact any current claims, plus, the new reforms do not cover pedestrians, cyclists or motorcyclists, all of whom we urge to seek legal assistance with their claims.'

Kiran continued. 'The reforms change the way that whiplash claims are valued. The tariffs are now spilt into two categories. One deals solely with whiplash injuries (Lower Tariff) and the other deals with whiplash injuries and minor psychological injuries (Upper Tariff).  In addition to the figures shown below, the injured party can seek an uplift of up to 20% in “exceptional circumstances.' This is where the whiplash injury is exceptionally severe, or where circumstances seen as exceptional have increased the pain and suffering.

Duration of injury                                                               Lower tariff (Reg 2 (1)(a))                                                                    Upper tariff (Reg 2(1)(b))

Not more than 3 months                                                      £240                                                                                                        £260

More than 3 months but not more than 6 months               £495                                                                                                        £520

More than 6 months but not more than 9 months               £840                                                                                                        £895 

More than 9 months but not more than 12 months             £1,320                                                                                                     £1,390

More than 12 months but not more than 15 months           £2,040                                                                                                     £2,125

More than 15 months but not more than 18 months           £3,005                                                                                                     £3,100

More than 18 months but not more than 24 months           £4,215                                                                                                     £4,345

 

Free initial meeting for support and advice

At Alsters Kelley, we are here to help you to seamlessly navigate the claims process. With years of experience, we aim to minimise the impact of the process and secure the compensation you may be entitled to.

We offer a free 30-minute appointment where we can support and guide you in the right direction. And thanks to our network of offices covering Coventry, Leamington, Nuneaton, Stratford-upon-Avon and Southam we are very accessible too. For timely and quality advice, please contact Kiran Jalota head of Medical Negligence and Personal Injury at Alsters Kelley Solicitors Ltd on 01926 356000 or email kiran.jalota@alsterskelley.com

 


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