The government has announced a series of measures to reform
whiplash injury insurance claims triggered by road traffic collisions.
The measures, which has been welcomed by the insurance
industry, were announced by the
Ministry of Justice
in publishing part one of its response to the ‘Reforming the Soft Tissue Injury
(‘Whiplash’) Claims Process’ consultation which closed earlier this year.
considered and made a number of policy decisions, including:
of a tariff of fixed compensation for pain, suffering and loss of amenity for
claims with an injury duration of between 0 and 24 months
judiciary with the facility to both decrease the amount awarded under the
tariff in cases where there may be contributory negligence or to increase the
award (with increases capped at no more than 20%) in exceptional circumstances;
Introducing a ban
on both the offering and requesting of offers to settle claims without medical
small claims limit for road traffic collision-related personal injury claims to
small claims limit for all other types of personal injury claim to £2,000.
The first and
third measures above will be introduced through provisions in the Prisons and
Courts Bill. Measures four and five will be introduced through secondary
legislative procedures. The government intends to implement the reforms as a
package. Part two of the government response will be published in due course.
Commenting on the government’s
Prisons and Courts Bill, which includes
plans to cap whiplash compensation pay-outs and raise the small claims limit
for road traffic accident claims, James Dalton, director of general insurance
policy, Association of British Insurers, said: “The reforms to whiplash claims
set out in the Bill cannot come soon enough.
“For far too long
claimant lawyers have been defending a system riddled with exaggerated and
fraudulent claims because they have been profiting handsomely from it. The
gravy train must stop.
that the UK’s roads have been getting ever safer, so why have whiplash-style
claims been rising? People want an insurance claims system that provides
compensation and support to those who genuinely need it. What they don’t want
is to be plagued by spam calls and texts from ambulance chasers, whilst personal
injury lawyers continue to profit from a broken system in urgent need of