Personal Injury Reforms 2021
The Ministry of Justice has confirmed on the 11th January 2021 that new changes to the Civil Liability Act 2018 are scheduled to come into effect from 31st May 2021.
If you were involved in a road traffic accident in the last 3 years, which was not your fault, but you have not made a personal injury claim yet, please read the below to understand how you may get affected by the new law changes coming into force by the end of this month.
Who will get affected?
Currently the victims of a road traffic accident can instruct a personal injury lawyer to pursue their claim on a ‘no win no fee’ basis if the claim is worth £1000 or more. The new changes will increase this limit to £5000 for a road traffic accident.
Claimants that will be affected the most are those who were involved in a road traffic accident and suffered a soft tissue injury with symptoms not lasting more than 2 years. Therefore, the vast majority of whiplash claims will fall under the new £5000 limit, and claimants will be left to deal with their claims without the assistance of a personal injury lawyer.
There are some exceptions to the new £5000 limit in RTA claims, which include ’vulnerable road users’ such as a child or protected party represented by a litigation friend, cyclists, pedestrians, horse riders, sidecar passengers, users of mobility scooters, motorcyclists. The £1000 limit will remain for the group defined as ‘vulnerable road users’.
What are the main changes that you need to know:
As stated above, £1000 still apply for all the road traffic accidents which happened before 31st May 2021 according to The Civil Procedure (Amendment No. 2) Rules 2021.
The new rules introduce new compensation tariffs for whiplash injuries that are significantly lower than current tariffs for the same injuries.
The new tariffs are as follows:
Injury/symptoms duration: New tariff Current average tariff
- No more than 3 months £240 – £260 £1500 – £1900
- From 3 to 6 months £495 – 520 £2000 – £2300
- From 6 to 9 months £840 – 895 £2400 – £2700
- From 9 to 12 months £1320 – £1390 £2800 – £3800
- From 12 to 15 months £2040 – £2125 £4000 – £5000
- From 15 to 18 months £3005 – £3100 £5000 – £6000
- From 18 to 24 months £4215 – £4345 £6000 – £7000
According to the new rules, the Small Claims limit will increase from the current limit of £1000 to new limit of £5000. This means that all road traffic accident claims that fall under £5000 valuation will have to be dealt by Claimants themselves and they lose the option of using a personal injury solicitor service on a ‘no win no fee’ basis as Claimant solicitors will not be able to recover their fees from the defendant anymore.
A new ‘Claims Portal’ has been developed by the Motor Insurers’ Bureau (MIB) on behalf of the Ministry of Justice and will be launched on 31st May 2021. All victims of the road traffic accident who suffered soft tissue injuries that did not last longer than two years will be promoted to use a new claims portal and start the claim process by their own initiative. Some lawyers have criticised the new claim process as in order to be able to claim compensation for suffered whiplash injuries. The claimant is expected to be computer literate, have access or own a laptop, tablet or other device with internet access and speak good standard English in order to complete all the required forms, follow the guidelines provided by the portal provider and conduct negotiations with the defendant insurance legal team. This is going to limit access to justice and fair compensation to all of those less fortunate to have access to a laptop, tablet, internet or who’s English language knowledge is not up to the required standard. This will create a difficult situation for the Claimants seeking to recover fair compensation from a defendant. This is because the recovery of personal injury compensation is quite complex, which requires specific skills and sound legal knowledge. This may put victims of road traffic accidents at a disadvantage as they will have to represent themselves and potentially pay the legal costs even if their claim is successful.
Due to the potential issues explained above, several lawyers have criticised the new changes, but as it stands now, they are coming into force on 31st May 2021.
Seeking legal advice will not be forbidden but it will not operate on a ‘no win no fee’ basis anymore. If a victim of a road traffic accident decides to get some legal advice on their matter, they can do so but will be charged on a private basis and in advance.
The best course of action:
As a reputable law firm, we urge everyone who had an accident in last 3 years that has not been their fault to get in touch with us as soon as possible. This will enable us to log your claim and start the compensation recovery process under the current rules and avoid any adverse implications that may arise after the new rules have taken effect by the end of this month.
Why IMD Personal Injury team?
The unique model of approach is our secret in delivering impeccable results for our Clients. We have a team of highly experienced lawyers who work on each personal injury case as a team, and if you choose us to deal with your case, you can be reassured of receiving maximum results in a timely manner with a personal touch which will aid to get the best outcome for your specific case. See what our former Clients think about our legal services at https://www.reviewsolicitors.co.uk/greater-manchester/manchester/imd-solicitors-llp
This article is for general information only and does not constitute legal or professional advice. Please note that the law may have changed since this article was published.
Published by: Kristina Tomkeviciute
GCILEX Personal Injury Lawyer
IMD Solicitors LLP