Whiplash reforms influence injury claims in the UK

How does the new whiplash reforms influence injury claims in the UK?

Latest news on injury claims in the UK

The Ministry of Justice made headline news earlier this year with its whiplash claim reforms. In a bid “to crack down on the compensation culture epidemic” this announcement aims at the reduction from the average amount of £1,850 to a maximum amount of £425. Additionally, compensation would only be paid out if a medical report was provided as proof of injury. The reform is set to be effective as from 01 October 2018.

How does this affect the law on road traffic accidents?

This cap on small claims and payouts for whiplash injuries has come as a result of injury claims in the UK being 50% higher than a decade ago. And this, despite the fact that we have some of the safest roads in the EU, coupled with declining motor accident statistics.

“For too long some have exploited a rampant compensation culture and seen whiplash claims an easy payday, driving up costs for millions of law-abiding motorists,” said Ministry of Justice Secretary Liz Truss.

“These reforms will crack down on minor, exaggerated and fraudulent claims.”

As a result, millions of motorists could see their car insurance premiums reduced.
The government said insurers have pledged to pass on the savings, worth about £40 a year.

What other measures were proposed?

Other proposed measures include:

  • The introduction of a tariff system for compensation. With payments reserved for claims for more significant injuries than whiplash injuries.
  • Reduced legal costs by enabling the small claims courts to handle all personal injury claims up to £5,000 (previously just £1,000).
  • Mandatory provision of medical reports from a MedCo accredited expert before any claims can be paid out.

Public Opinion

The Association of British Insurers (ABI) welcomed the consultation, saying the proposals would “give honest motorists a better deal”.

The RAC motoring group’s insurance director, Mark Godfrey, said the plan was “broadly welcome”, but added: “It is crucial that motorists that have genuine injury claims in the UK are not disadvantaged, which is why we now look forward to seeing the finer detail of the government’s proposals.”

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