• Spencer Payne

Whiplash Compensation Claim Reforms To take Effect At End Of May

Claims for whiplash injury in road accidents have been very common in recent years, leading to many people making successful claims, but widespread concern among insurers, government and providers of road transportation services about the rising tide of litigation.

That has led to changes in the law and the latest of these will take effect at the end of May, Taxi Point reports. These will be enforcing provisions included in the 2018 Civil Liability Act.

The new rules set out specific figures that people can receive based on how severe the injury actually is.

While soft tissue damage that could lead to a three-month recovery period might currently net a claimant as much as £1,800, the new rules would cap this at £240, with £20 extra for factors such as shock and travel anxiety.

However, this sliding scale does mean more severe injuries could lead to larger payouts. Figures of over £2,000 are available for those injured for 12-15 months and incapacity for 18-24 months could lead to compensation of more than £4,000.

For this reason, it is wise for those who want to make a whiplash claim beyond the end of this month to take civil legal advice first, in order to establish what sort of case they could bring and how much they are likely to win in the event of a successful claim.

What is clear is that what was once a major growth industry - claims management - is now in clear decline. As Legal Futures recently noted, the number of claims management firms in the UK has dropped by 80 per cent over the past decade. It cited figures from the Financial Conduct Authority listing 623 of these still being in existence, compared with over 3,000 in 2011.

Such firms have often been derided as ‘ambulance chasers’ and some were notorious for sending unsolicited messages to people who might never have had any reason to make a claim.

However, it is important to note that this does not remove the reality that if you do have a genuine claim, it is still your right to seek compensation. The key is to establish what this is likely to be under the new rules.

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