The Future of Personal Injury claims is set to drastically change in the next 12 months with changes to RTA legislation anticipated by April 2019 with further changes to come. The detail is still largely unknown to most practitioners and concerns are that the public will no longer have the access to justice they need.
The call for change has been repeatedly made by Insurance Companies over many years seeking to end so called “fraudulent” claims. Recommendations for change have been called for with insurers promising the changes would amount to lower insurance premiums after alluding to the same being high due to the sheer volume of claims, some of which may not be genuine.
Changes have recently taken place in this area with the introduction of fixed costs in 2013 however we still have no evidence of the promised lower insurance premiums despite the savings to the Insurance market flowing from this.
The changes expected are that the small claims limit will rise from the current £1,000.00 to £5,000.00. A small claim is a claim which does not allow a claimant to claim their solicitor’s costs for acting for them if the claim is successful. Currently, a claim worth more than £1,000.00, if successful, means the paying party will pay the majority of the claimant’s legal fees. With the figure set to rise this will mean that even claimants who are genuinely injured, with whiplash type injuries, for a long period of time (1 – 2 years) may face the prospect of receiving little compensation and / or having to pay a solicitor out of their own pocket.
The level of damages for whiplash type injuries is also set to decrease with a tariff system being introduced.
The changes are set to affect in the region of 96% of RTA claims.
The bill entitled the Civil Liability Bill passed the report stage in the Lords on 13th June 2018 and now moves on to the Commons. It is not expected that there can be any further challenges.
If you have been injured in an RTA speak to us about making a claim before the changes come in to effect.