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Will whiplash reforms affect my existing personal injury claim?

View profile for Katie Plappert
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The government is making changes to the claims process for low value road traffic accident (RTA) claims, commonly referred to as ‘whiplash claims’, which take effect from 31 May 2021 onwards.

This will reduce the amount of compensation that is recoverable following certain (but not all) road traffic accidents, and the ability to recover legal costs from the at fault insurer. Read our blog here for more information on the changes being made: Whiplash reforms - how much compensation will I get for my personal injury claim? 

The good news is that the whiplash reforms only apply to accidents which happened on or after 31st May 2021, so, whether or not you have already started your claim, if you were involved in a road traffic accident before that date, you will still be entitled to the previous, higher compensation awards and you will also be able to recover some legal costs from the at fault insurer.

It is important to note that there is a deadline to start personal injury claims by issuing a claim form at court, this is called the limitation period. For accidents which took place in England or Wales, this is generally three years from the accident date, however there are exceptions to this. For example, for those who were under 18 years of age at the time of the accident (referred to as minors), the three year clock only starts to run from their 18th birthday. However, we would always recommend starting your claim as soon as possible as it may be more difficult to locate insurers or prove a claim after months or even years have gone by.

One change being implemented as a result of the whiplash reforms is a ban on ‘pre-medical offers’ for whiplash injuries. Pre-medical offer is the term used for offers made by insurance companies for an injury claim prior to a report being prepared by a medical expert. These offers are often pitched low in an attempt to settle claims for as little as possible, therefore it is a welcome change, and may lead to less offers of this type in general, although the ban is limited to whiplash claims only.  

If you have been involved in a road traffic accident, either before or after 31st May 2021, you can call our specialist personal injury solicitors on 0161 696 6235 or complete our online enquiry form.

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