Compensation for whiplash claims to be slashed sparking fears that claimants ‘will have to represent themselves in court’
- New reforms mean that payouts for whiplash claims will decrease significantly
- Legal fee site says whiplash claimants will have to represent themselves in court
- The rule changes come after years of pressure from insurance companies
Claims for whiplash injuries could plummet amid a legal clampdown on the compensation industry.
Legal reforms introduced this summer mean the value of pay-outs will decrease significantly – while making it difficult for crash victims to find a no win, no fee solicitor to take on their case.
The new rules come after years of pressure from insurance companies, who have argued that law firms and accident claims companies have been helping car crash victims to make ‘dubious’ soft tissue injuries claims. This has pushed up car insurance premiums for all drivers.
Currently a soft tissue injury that doesn’t heal within three to six months pays out an average compensation of £2,250. Under the proposed fixed tariff term this would fall to £470 [File photo]
From August 1 small claims courts will handle any personal injury claims from road traffic accidents that have an estimated pay-out of less than £5,000 – a significant increase on the previous limit of £1000, which means many more cases will be handled this way.
CheckMyLegalFees.com says that because solicitors will be unable to claim their costs from the other side in small claims courts it means victims will forced to represent themselves in hearings.
It describes this is ‘devastating’ for the road traffic accident personal injury industry and would make it impractical for claims to be made.
Pay outs are set for a substantial cut, also, with some claimants walking away with less than a quarter of what they might previously have expected.
Under the Civil Liability Act 2018 the new proposed set tariffs for a soft tissue injury lasting less than 24 months will be hugely reduced and valued between £275 and £3,910 dependent on the extent of the suffering.
Currently a soft tissue injury that doesn’t heal within three to six months pays out an average compensation of £2,250. Under the proposed fixed tariff term this would fall to £470.
Mark Carlisle, founder of CheckMyLegalFees.com, told The Mail on Sunday: ‘This is an absolute game-changer. I think the so-called whiplash claims will plummet.
‘We’re certainly not ones to automatically defend the personal injury claims industry but I do have a concern that there will be less access to justice for people needing to make genuine lower value road traffic accident personal injury claims. Having to prepare medical reports isn’t necessarily an easy task.
‘This is a huge victory for the insurance industry who has been lobbying the Government hard and will now have to pay out a lot less money on RTA personal injury claims. It’ll be interesting to see if premiums go down.’
CheckMyLegalFees.com says that because solicitors will be unable to claim their costs from the other side in small claims courts it means victims will forced to represent themselves in hearings [File photo]