In the week when the late David Bowie received his Brit awards for the British Album of the Year and British Male Solo Artist, Changes are afoot in personal injury claims. The Ministry of Justice has issued part one of the Government’s Response to Reforming the Soft Tissue Injury (“whiplash”) claims process, a consultation on arrangements concerning personal injury claims in England and Wales. It has also published the Prisons and Courts Bill.
The reforms are intended to address “whiplash injuries” defined as an injury or set of injuries of the neck or the neck and upper torso that is of a description to be specified in regulations. The Government Response to the consultation paper explains that the Government is committed to tackling what it describes as “the continuing high number and cost of whiplash claims” as “the continuing high number and cost of these claims contribute significantly to the place of motor insurance premiums paid by motorists”.
There will be a fixed tariff to cap whiplash compensation payouts where the duration of the whiplash injury does not exceed two years. Furthermore, offers to settle road traffic accident related whiplash claims without medical evidence will be banned.
Compensation for Whiplash
For an injury duration of 0 to 3 months, the new tariff amount will be £225. By comparison, the Judicial College Guideline for such claims currently sets out a band of a few hundred pounds to £2,050. For injuries with a duration of 19 to 24 months, the new tariff amount will be £3,725. The Judicial College Guideline band for such claims is £3,630-£6,600.
The small claims track limit in England and Wales will increase from £1,000-£5,000 for road traffic accident related personal injury claims and to £2,000 for other personal injury claims.
The Government proposes that these measures will be implemented on 1 October 2018. The Government considers that car insurance premiums will be cut by around £40 a year. It remains to be seen, however, whether insurers are going to be Under Pressure to pass on the savings or whether they will be Dancing in the Street.
While the changes only apply in England and Wales, this may have an impact on our client’s living and working in Scotland. We are continuing to monitor the progress of the reforms.
Contact our Personal Injury Solicitors Glasgow
Jackson Boyd are committed to providing our customers with the best possible services and results, and have been helping people in disputes across Scotland for over twenty years. We specialise in dealing with contentious litigation in the areas of property law, road traffic law, personal injury, employment law and dispute resolution. In the last year alone, we have assisted over 12,000 people and secured millions of pounds in compensation. To speak to our team of highly experienced solicitors, get in touch today via our online contact form, or telephone us on 01412496903.