The Ministry of Justice has revealed its plans for reforming various aspects of personal injury claims. The reforms will not only affect whiplash claims, but the way the discount rate applied to personal injury settlements is calculated.
Lord Chancellor David Gauke claims that as the number of whiplash claims go down drivers will see savings averaging £35 from their car insurance premiums. However, this is only part of the story.
The reforms will also set fixed amounts for whiplash claims and it is expected these will be significantly lower than those currently awarded by the court. Alongside the proposed increase in the smalls claims limit to £5,000 (meaning legal costs will not be recoverable from a Defendant in addition to compensation) it will effectively remove solicitors from the process.
In one of our previous articles we highlighted the Law Society's argument against the reforms, in particular new research showing that 76% of medical experts would not accept instructions from claimants directly.
Commenting on the proposals Stephen Green, head of Fosters Personal Injury department said, "once again it is Claimants who will lose out as they will be effectively denied access to specialist solicitors - unless they are prepared to pay for such advice from their own damages."
Changes for whiplash and other road traffic accident claims are only the beginning; changes for other types of personal injury claims will come in at a later date, likely to be by April 2019.
If you think you will be affected by the personal injury reforms, please contact us and take the opportunity to speak to one of our Personal Injury solicitors in Norwich now. We can be contacted on 0800 731 8539 or email us.