web analytics

What will be the impact on your whiplash claim if proposed reforms go ahead?

Why you shouldn’t delay if you are thinking about bringing a personal injury claim for soft tissue/whiplash and other minor injuries.

The proposed reforms to the rules and procedures for bringing personal injury claims may be changing in as little as 6 weeks’ time. If you have suffered a relatively minor injury, particularly if it doesn’t involve a fracture, serious scarring or a head injury, and have not started a claim, you should do so straight away or you may find it extremely difficult to do so and recover far less compensation.

The new rules will increase the upper value for small claims from £1,000 to £5,000 for soft tissue injuries sustained in Road Traffic Accidents and to £2,000 in other types of injuries.

This is irrespective of the amount of other financial losses incurred as a result of the accident, including loss of earnings, medical expenses, paid and unpaid care, car hire, travelling costs, damage to property and other items.

If your injury is a small claim, you will not be able to recover any of your solicitor’s costs for bringing the claim from the opponent and will have to pay all of them yourself, which will substantially reduce the value of your compensation.

Road traffic soft tissue injuries

For Road traffic soft tissue injuries, the most common of which is “whiplash” or hyperextension injuries, typically to the neck, lower and mid-back, a new tariff system is to be introduced which will provide fixed amounts of compensation for the injuries that will produce far lower awards than the current system allows.

For example, currently, if you make a full recovery from a sore neck within 12 months of the accident, the Judicial College Guidelines (which the Judges refer to when making awards) and past case law indicate that the award for injuries alone will be up to £4,000 and if the recovery takes place within 3 months, then the award is up to £2,300.

Although the new tariffs are not fixed yet, it is likely that the tariff amounts will be £1,190 and £225 respectively for the same injuries and that is before solicitors’ charges are paid.

The insurance companies are eagerly looking forwards to the formal introduction of the reforms which they expect will save them many millions each year, not only in reduced damages but because there will be far fewer claims as injured people will be faced with the choices of bringing the claims themselves (when they will have to take on the insurers’ experienced and savvy claims handlers to recover compensation, often via the Courts) or to instruct solicitors who will probably want to take 40% or more of the compensation by way of remuneration if the claim is successful – otherwise it will not be economic for them to pursue such claims.

It is rumoured that Claims Management Companies will enter the market for the first time and start to offer their services to assist injured people as well.

The message is clear. If you have been injured less than 3 years ago as a result of someone else’s fault and are thinking about whether to make a claim for a non-serious injury, you should do it now as if you leave it until after March 2020, it will be much harder to do so and you will almost certainly receive far less in compensation than you would if you do so now.

If you have been injured and wish to get in touch, you can contact us by calling 0121 752 2818 or by emailing info@personalinjurylawyerbirmingham.org.

By: Jonathan Stittle
Title: What will be the impact on your whiplash claim if proposed reforms go ahead?
Sourced From: www.tayloremmet.co.uk/blog/wordpress/whiplash-claim-proposed-reforms/
Published Date: Mon, 24 Feb 2020 15:13:23 +0000