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The government has announced that the small claims limit for non-RTA cases will increase to £1,500, scaling back on the initial proposal.
Lord Wolfson of Tredegar stated that the government had decided not to increase the small claims limit to £2,000 for employers and public liability claims. This change has been implemented in part one of the Civil Liability Act 2018. This legislation underpins the new small claims track limit for RTA’s, coming into force at the end of May.
Wolfson stated that ‘Delivering this reform remains a key government priority but we believe that a more modest increase in the small claims track limit for non-RTA related claims is justified. Pausing it’s implementation for 12 months will enable greater focus to be placed on the commencement of the whiplash reforms and the launch of the new Official Injury Claim service for claimants on 31 May 2021.’
The employers liability/public liability increase has been a controversial step. It has been opposed by Claimant representatives and unsupported by insurers. This increased limit implementation will be deferred to April 2022.
The Houses of Parliament are due to debate the the suggested tariffs for whiplash damages after 31 May 2021. The whiplash injury regulations set limits on the damages payable for a whiplash injury of up to two years and include any minor psychological injury suffered at the same time. The regulations allow the court to apply an uplift of 20% in exceptional circumstances.
Law Society of England and Wales president, Stephanie Boyce said it was good news the Ministry of Justice will revise down the proposed increase to the small claims limit for EL and PL claims - more or less in line with inflation – as injured workers should still be able to access justice.
It will be interesting to watch the developments of this legislation unfold in discussion within parliament. Those who have suffered injury at work should be entitled to bringing a claim where negligence has taken place and access to compensation and rehabilitation should be at the forefront of the discussions.