Relief for Claimants, as the Government has announced that the draconian reforms to “Whiplash Claims” are being pushed back to April 2020 with large-scale testing by October 2019.
The Government had previously set out its intention to reform, “whiplash claims” on 1 April 2019 by pushing the small claims limit to £5,000 from £1,000.
If the proposed reforms go ahead as currently drawn, Claimants who have suffered soft tissue injuries as a result of a road traffic accident which does not attract an award of damages of £5,000 or more will not be able to recover their legal costs for pursuing a claim. In addition, “whiplash claims” with a duration of up to two years would be subject to a tariff of fixed compensation.
Many Claimants will be deterred from pursuing a claim without legal guidance in an area of law within which that they have no knowledge or expertise. Those Claimants which attempt to pursue a personal injury claim will be vulnerable “Litigants in person” at the mercy of bullish Defendant insurers who will have the upper hand in negotiating with lay Claimants thus resulting in significant under settlements and soaring profits for the insurer.
Accordingly, the only beneficiaries of the proposed reforms look to be big corporate insurers instead of innocent victims of negligent driving.
Even though the proposed reforms have been pushed back, the inevitability of the reforms is highly likely which begs the question, should Claimants be jumping for joy?