In 2015, then Chancellor – George Osborne – announced that cash payments for minor whiplash injuries would be banned with the intention of curtailing what the insurance industry calls “compensation culture”.
Since then major consultations have started and whilst the legislation has not yet been enshrined, the Ministry of Justice have said plans to increase the small claims limit to £5,000 for motoring claims will be implemented in April 2019.
The detail is complicated. Essentially there is an intention for whiplash claims that would result in compensation of below £5,000 will be funnelled through the small claims court. This means if you are hurt in an accident and have a minor injury it will be likely that you will have to go through the courts yourself to seek justice and compensation as lawyers will not be able to recover their costs.
There is no doubt that whiplash is a painful condition and you should receive compensation and redress, especially if you are the innocent victim. But, if these new reforms go through you will struggle to get justice.
People wanting to claim for whiplash need to make an enquiry as soon as possible in case the law changes, don’t be put off by the proposed changes. Under the current law you can claim for pain and suffering and loss of amenity, and claim compensation.
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