On 31 May 2021, new whiplash reforms were implemented as part of the Civil Liability Act 2018 (CLA)1.
Whiplash reforms

These reforms change the way individuals seek compensation if they have suffered whiplash injuries as a result of a road traffic accident. The reforms are intended to reduce insurance costs for motorists by tackling the continuing high number and cost of whiplash claims.

The new measures will apply to any road traffic accident on or after 31 May 2021, in England and Wales, for cases where payment for injuries are assessed at less than £5,000, and where the overall personal injury claims value is no more than £10,000.

The reforms:

  • The small claims limit is increasing from £1,000 to £5,000 for road traffic accidents. Not all claims are covered by the new protocols. Examples of those which fall outside are: injuries to children, vulnerable road users e.g. motor cyclists and passengers, wheelchair/mobility scooter users, cyclists, horse riders, pedestrians, and foreign registered vehicles.
  • A new whiplash injury tariff.
  • A new Official Injury Claims (OIC) portal – which will allow unrepresented claimants to submit their own claim, as well as legal representatives.
  • A ban on pre-medical offers for whiplash injuries.
  • Where injury claims are valued below the £5,000 threshold, claimant solicitors are no longer able to claim associated legal costs, thereby reducing the overall claims settlement considerably.
  • The rules for starting legal proceedings and medical reporting have also been amended and insurers will work to these new rules going forward.

More information can be found here.

1. https://thejournal.cii.co.uk/news-analysis/2021/03/02/new-whiplash-rules-kick-may-31

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