Reasons for the reform
The road traffic accident reform, better known as the whiplash reform, tries to combat fraudulant claims. It introduces a "package of measures to disincentivise minor, exaggerated and fraudulent road traffic accident related soft-tissue injury claims".* A reason for this reform is the fact that personal injury claims from road traffic accidents are 50% higher compared to 2006. This increased number of claims led to higher car insurance premiums for car drivers.*
What the reform does
One of the key measures of the reform is to increase the small claims limit for road traffic accidents. The limit for personal injury claims will be raised from £1,000 to £5,000. The other big change is the introduction of fixed compensation amounts based on the duration of the injury. With these changes in place, many more cases will be held infront of the small claims court and you will most likely represent yourself.
Risks and challenges of the reform
With these changes, we may not be able to take your claim on a No Win No Fee basis anymore. You will have to represent yourself, which includes paying a fee to the small claims court upfront. So, not only do you have to represent yourself but you also have to pay a fee without knowing whether or not you will receive compensation.
We fear the risk that many victims will be overwhelmed by the paperwork and administrative tasks and therefore decide to just not claim at all. Unfortunately, the reform seems to ignore that almost all claims are genuine and only a very small number of claims are fraudulent.
The suggested tariffs are much lower than the average payouts from 2015. The numbers are based only on the duration of the injury but don't take the personal situation into account. With many years’ experience, we know that every accident affects an individuals life differently. No two cases are the same and it's difficult to apply a payout scale on pain and suffering.
We support you
If the road traffic accident reform comes through in April 2020, we are still here to support your case. If you are unsure about any of this information or about making a No Win No Fee road traffic accident claim, contact our team today.
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