Personal Injury Claim Solicitor Marc Folgate examines the Government’s plans to reform the claims process for low-value whiplash injury claims
Well, it is here. The outcome of the Government’s consultation as anticipated will hit Claimants hard, not to mention their legal representatives. In an apparent bid to reduce insurance premiums there will be a tariff-based system set to be introduced in 2018. The figures for Claimants look less than impressive and the small claims limit is set to rise to £5,000 in this field, meaning that for many cases legal representation will be unavailable.
It is perhaps not too difficult to foresee that insurance companies will derive a windfall as would-be Claimants battle through the complexities of pursuing their own claims at the mercy of their opponents who hold all the cards. Possibly the vacuum will be filled by Claims Management Companies providing cut-price assistance for a slice of the already rather meagre pie.
Compensation will, it appears, be limited to £225 for injures lasting up to three months, £450 for injuries up to six months, and £765 where recovery is anticipated to take up to nine months.
Payments will be £1,190 for injuries lasting up to 12 months, £1,820 for injuries lasting up to 15 months, £2,660 where the injury lasts up to 18 months and £3,725 where recovery takes up to 24 months.
What will happen to other, consequential losses remains today unclear to me today but Scrivenger Seabrook Solicitors will be keeping a watchful eye.
Justice Minister Sir Oliver Heald is reported by the Law Society Gazette today to have said that the Government “expect insurers to fulfil their promise and put the money saved back in the pockets of the country’s drivers”.
If it is anything like previous promises in exchange for civil justice reforms in favour of the insurance industry then I am far from confident the promise will be delivered but we shall see.
Marc Folgate 23 February 2017