Manchester, United Kingdom, May 13, 2021 --(PR.com
)-- The personal injury claims process is changing. As part of the Whiplash Injury Regulations 2021 and the Civil Procedure (Amendment No. 2) Rules 2021, new reforms coming into force will affect how much compensation claimants could be awarded.
At a glance, the reform includes changes such as:
A new Online Injury Claims portal
The small claims limit increasing from £1,000 to £5,000
Reduced Tariffs for whiplash injuries resulting from RTAs
Here’s an overview of the new personal injury tariff and how it will affect you if you want to make a personal injury claim.
Currently, injury claims under £1,000 are handled by the small claims court. From 31st May 2021, this limit will increase to £5,000. This means that injuries with a value under £5,000 will now be handled by the small claims court and solicitors will no longer be able to recover the legal costs of pursuing such claims. This change does not apply to accidents involving children or vulnerable road users like pedestrians, cyclists, horse riders or motorcyclists.
The Small Claims Court was designed to allow individuals to pursue smaller personal injury claims without the need to attend court or find legal representation. Generally, the Small Claims Court handled injuries lasting 1 to 3 weeks that do not cause long lasting pain or scarring. With the impending changes, virtually all whiplash/soft tissue injuries will fall within the Small Claims threshold, meaning that you will no longer be able to instruct a firm of solicitors to undertake this work on your behalf unless you agree a deduction from your compensation.
Mixed injuries, where there is more than one type of injury a claimant is seeking compensation for, will be compensated based on the combined impact to the individual and may fall outside of this regime.
Why the personal injury tariff is changing
The insurance industry have pushed for the changes on the basis that the personal injury tariff reform is part of a package of measures designed to tackle the number and cost of whiplash claims and the impact these have on the cost of motor insurance premiums. Insurers will be required to submit evidence to the government that they are passing on the savings made by this reform in 2024.
The increased limit will result in members of the public (otherwise known as ‘Litigants in Person’ (LIP’s) running these cases on an Official Injury Claims Portal to claim without legal representation - the idea being that more claims can be settled before reaching court. In reality, there is scope for many claims dropping out of the system where liability or causation (the link between the accident and injury) are disputed and the LIP will have to consider issuing formal court proceedings without the assistance of a solicitor. This may have the effect of putting off LIP’s from pursuing their claims any further, regardless of how legitimate their claim may be in the circumstances.
The government is of the view that the tariff will provide proportional compensation for ‘low value’ injuries, however, the inevitable effect of the reforms will be a diminishing effect on access to justice.
About Zen Law Solicitors
Zen Law Solicitors is a law firm in Manchester. The company provides specialist advice for personal injury claims. Directors Parvez Anwar and Umran Aziz have a combined background in road traffic accident case and all types of personal injury claims.