The long-awaited whiplash reforms are set to be implemented on 31st May 2021. The reforms have been in the pipeline for some time now and were due to come into force in April 2020.
What are whiplash reforms?
Insurance companies have been campaigning for reforms to the current process as they believe that this will reduce the number of low value claims. This in theory would make savings for the insurance companies leading to reductions in insurance premiums for motorists.
The whiplash reforms will be introduced by the Government to modify the way low-value personal injury claims arising from RTAs (road traffic accidents) are managed.
How will the Whiplash reforms impact me?
Currently if your personal injury claim is valued less that £1,000 this will fall into small claims and you are not able to recover legal costs from your opponent. The reform will see an increase to the small claims limit to £5,000 for RTA claims, all other personal injury claims will remain at £1,000.
Under the new reforms for any road traffic accident which occurs on or after 31st May 2021, your injuries must be valued in excess of £5,000 in order to make a claim with a specialist personal injury solicitor like Martin Kaye Solicitors.
There are some exceptions to the new £5,000 limit in RTA claims. These include:
- Where the Claimant is a child or protected party;
- Where the Claimant was a ’vulnerable road user’, e.g. motorcyclists and pillion/sidecar passengers, cyclists, pedestrians, horse riders and those using mobility scooters;
- Where, on the date proceedings started, the Claimant is an undischarged bankrupt, or the Claimant or Defendant acts as a personal representative of a deceased person; and
- Where, on the date that the accident occurred, the Defendant’s vehicle was registered outside the United Kingdom.
If a case falls into one or more of these categories, the old £1,000 limit will continue to apply and the normal track for the claim will be fast track, which means that individuals will still be able to seek the assistance of a solicitor.
The reform will also see the introduction of tariffs for whiplash injuries lasting less than two years. This will decide how much compensation a person should receive for their whiplash injury and this new system will include all the injuries sustained if the total award is less than £5,000. These tariffs will limit the amount of compensation awarded to Claimants compared to the current system in place. Under the new tariffs, Claimant’s will receive between £235.00 for the shortest period allowed under the tariff and £3,910 for injuries lasting less than two years.
The reform new limit of £5,000, will leave many claimants representing themselves against the third party insurers directly without any legal support.
Any road traffic accidents which occurred on or before the 31st May 2021 will continue under the current process for low-value personal injury claims, and all other accident claims remain unaffected for now. All our initial consultations are free of charge and without obligation, call us directly on 0800 975 6066 to start your claim. We are also able to help with accidents at work or public places.