Government delays changes to personal injury compensation claim limits

Author: Vince Pearl

The government has delayed plans to implement increases in the small claims limit for personal injury compensation claims.

The whiplash reforms, which were due to take effect in April next year, have been put back until April 2020 in order to ensure that a new digital platform for administering the pre-action stages of low value road traffic accident claims will be ready. Large scale testing of the new system, which will allow people to represent themselves, is anticipated to start in October 2019.

Although the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) is considering whether to exempt vulnerable road users, such as pedestrians and cyclists, it plans to introduce a claims threshold of £5,000 – up from £1,000 – for road traffic injuries and £2,000 for all other personal injuries. Currently the limit for these types of injuries is £1,000. It’s also considering whether to require insurance companies to issue reports on how they have passed on savings made from the reforms to consumers.

The changes form part of the Civil Liability Bill and are an attempt to deter bogus personal injury claims and the perceived compensation culture surrounding motor insurance claims.

While the delay has been welcomed, around 36 MPs have signed an early day motion in Parliament, calling on the government to withdraw the planned increase amid fears that it will prevent genuine claimants from accessing justice.

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