From its creation, the Civil Liability Bill, which seeks to reform the claims process for soft tissue injuries arising from road traffic accidents, has made rapid progress through the Houses of Parliament and had its third reading on 23rd October 2018.
The bill introduces a fixed tariff for whiplash injury damages, for injuries up to two years duration, along with an increase in the small claims track limit, from £1,000 to £5,000 for claims arising from RTA’s.
Shortly before the third reading, the Labour Party tabled amendments, that if successful would have provided a restriction in the proposed upper limit to the small claims track which is proposed at £5,000 and would have reduced to £1,500 initially, linked to inflation. Another amendment also sought to remove the proposed tariffs for whiplash injuries, leaving the judiciary to decide appropriate compensation levels referencing the judicial college guidelines.
During the third reading, the Labour amendments were unfortunately defeated In the House of Commons by a 56 vote majority.
Sadly, this outcome leads to a significant erosion of access to justice for the general public, with the reforms likely to take effect in 2020.