Our recent article on the new Civil Liability Act, due to come into effect April 2020, achieved interest from a Times Law journalist who interviewed managing director Ian Howard for a wider feature on what the new act means for whiplash claims in the future.

With the law surrounding road traffic accidents proposed to change in April 2020, those suffering whiplash or soft tissue damage should look to progress their claims before the compensation process becomes more complicated.

The government is working to bring The Civil Liability Act into effect from April 2020, which was passed in 2018 and these changes will mean the amount of money people could receive in compensation for soft tissue damage, or whiplash, could be reduced.

Ian Howard, managing director and personal injury solicitor at JMP Solicitors said: “For those with a genuine injury and a genuine claim, The Civil Liability Act could make receiving compensation even more stressful as the victims will have to navigate the legal proceedings without any help, leaving them worse off as they will receive a significantly reduced sum.

“With the proposed act possibly coming into effect in April 2020, we’ve outlined the main changes to be aware of, so that victims past and present can fully understand the new act and its implications.”

  1. The small claims limit will be reduced

The current small claims court limit for road traffic accidents is £1,000, but from April this will increase to £5,000 meaning anyone injured in a road traffic accident will not be able to use a lawyer to make a claim of £5,000 or less.

  1. There will be a fixed amount on how much you can receive

For injuries that last for less than two years, there will be a fixed amount you can receive ranging from £235 – £3,910, which is a substantial decrease in what claimants can receive from the current system.

The new law will allow claimants to receive; £235 for less than three months, £805 for between six and nine months, £1,250 for between nine and 12 months, £1,910 for between 12 and 15 months, £2,790 for between 15 and 18 months, and £3,910 for between 18 – 24 months.

  1. Solicitors fees will not be recoverable

As whiplash claims will now be dealt with by the small claims court, it is likely that anyone injured in a road traffic accident will not be able to receive representation as solicitors’ fees won’t be recoverable, meaning injured people will have to pay for legal costs directly or represent themselves.

  1. Claimants will have to submit their own proceedings

Under the new act, as well as claimants having to submit their own proceedings, they will also have to handle all medical proceedings alone including paying for medical assessments if necessary and their appropriate treatment before receiving any form of compensation.

If you have been injured in a road traffic accident in the last three years, it is advised that you submit your claim before April 2020, to ensure that you receive vital legal and medical support, as well as your fair sum of compensation. For further information or to pursue a claim, please email enquiries@jmp-solicitors.com or call 01476 565 295.

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