Whiplash claims: What are the changes?
The UK government has changed the claims process for whiplash claims or low-value road traffic accidents (RTA) related to personal injury claims.
These changes came into effect on the 31st of May 2021 and allows those looking to claim to have the opportunity to settle these small claims online without the need for the courts or legal representation.
The Whiplash Reform Programme changes are being made as part of a package of measures to tackle the high number and costs of whiplash claims.
It is well documented that whiplash claims have had a significant impact on the cost of motor insurance premiums, and the implementation of these changes is expected to save motorists around £35 a year on their insurance.
According to information released by the government about the Whiplash Reform Programme, the measures includes:
The introduction of a fixed tariff of compensation for whiplash injuries that last up to 2 years. This tariff will provide clarity and certainty to claimants about the number of personal injury damages they will receive for whiplash injuries.
A ban on settling whiplash claims without medical evidence. The Official Injury Claim service will enable claimants to source medical reports to ensure that medical evidence is supported before settlement.
The 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.
Increasing the Small Claims Track (SCT) limit for Road Traffic Accident related Personal Injury claims from £1,000 to £5,000 via amendments to the Civil Procedure Rules. This means that the majority of such claims will now proceed through the Small Claims Track, where legal costs are not recoverable.
The reforms only apply to claims that have arisen after the 31st of May 2021. Any before this date are subject to the pre-existing rules.