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The civil liability bill jumped the last hurdle this week and was passed through the House of Commons. The small claims limit will be raised to £5,000 for Road Traffic Accidents with a fixed tariff being introduced for whiplash claims. It will also consider the discount rate used for lump sum settlements to calculate future losses.
Amendments will now be now considered and then will proceed for royal assent. It is thought that the new law will come into play for April 2020.
So, what does this all mean for you?
For the moment, nothing has changed, and there will be much more information to follow when the bill is finalised.
We can expect, however, by April 2020 for the changes to have quite an impact on how ‘low value’ injury claims caused by road traffic accidents are dealt with. If, after this date, you are involved in a Road Traffic Accident and suffer a whiplash injury whereby you recovered within 6 months, your compensation will be assessed as a set, fixed amount. Individual circumstances will therefore not be considered.Access to justice, as a result, is limited. Years of case law and judicial independence will be lost as a result of the tariff system coming into play.
Essentially a raise in the small claims limit will mean there will be more members of the public forced to act as litigants in person and deal with personal injury claims without any legal representation. This will undoubtedly place burdon on the court system which is already under significant pressure.
Ongoing road traffic claims are unlikely to be effected.We will keep a regular check on developments as the bill moves towards royal assent.
Ramsdens Solicitors have a specialist Road Traffic team who can advise on all injury cases no matter what size and will continue to do so to ensure accessibility to legal redress. To find out more about making a claim with Ramsdens Solicitors, call us now on 0800 804 7450, text CLAIMS to 80988 or submit your claim online and our team will be able to offer expert advice and practical support – it’s free and you’ll be able to discuss your situation with a specialist claims solicitor.