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Personal injury reforms in 2020 will mean lower compensation for road traffic accident victims

View profile for Katie Plappert
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Personal injury reforms in 2020 will mean lower compensation for road traffic accident victims

The UK government are making drastic changes to the personal injury sector which will serve to both reduce compensation and also make it much harder to secure legal representation.

The introduction of the Civil Liability Act 2018 will impose a fixed tariff for “whiplash” claims, which is defined by the Ministry of Justice as an ‘injury of soft tissue in the neck, back or shoulder that is… a sprain, strain, tear, rupture or lesser damage of a muscle, tendon or ligament in the neck, back or shoulder, or an injury of soft tissue associated with a muscle, tendon or ligament in the neck, back or shoulder’. The amount of compensation recoverable by claimant’s will be significantly less than the current levels, as can be seen from the table below published by Legal Futures:

Injury duration in months      Proposed fixed tariff damages post reform      Current average damages      Insurer saving per claim
0-3 £275 £1,800 £1,600
3-6 £470 £2,250 £1,750
6-9 £805 £2,700 £1,900
9-12 £1,250 £3,250 £2,000
12-15 £1,910 £3,650 £1,750
15-18 £2,790 £4,150 £1,350
18-24 £3,910 £4,750 £850
Over 24 No revision n/a n/a

 

The ‘insurer saving per claim’ shows the reduction in compensation that a claimant will receive once the tariff comes into force (currently due April 2020) compared to the current level of compensation payable. This is a staggering difference of up to £2,000 per claim.

The tariff will not apply to vulnerable road users such as pedestrians, motorcyclists and cyclists.

Not only will these reforms mean a reduction in the level of compensation payable to road traffic accident victims, but it also means that insurers will not meet legal costs for personal injury claims with a value of less than £5,000. Based on the tariff shown above, this would mean that road traffic accident victims suffering from injuries for a period of up to 2 years would not be entitled to recover the cost of legal representation from the at fault party.

The final details of the reforms are yet to be announced but there is no doubt that they will have a devastating effect on victims of road traffic accidents. If you have been injured in an accident and wish to make a claim, contact our personal injury specialists on 0175 321 6399. Our team have many years of experience and will work hard to secure the right level of compensation for you.

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