As a result of the Civil Liabilites Act 2018, there are significant changes to whiplash claims that could seriously affect any injured claimant from May 31st 2021.
So, what's changing?
Whilst avoiding as much technical jargon as possible, let’s take a look at what specific changes are being introduced, and how these could affect claimants.
Small Claims Track (SCT)
Courts allocate claims to one of three possible “tracks” which relates to the complexity and time sensitivity of the case. These are the “small claims track”, “fast track” and “multi track”. The small claims “track” refers to straightforward cases with a low value of damages; these are often minor cases that can be settled relatively quickly without much financial impact or compensation. From May 31st 2021 the threshold for “SCT” allocated cases is increasing to £5,000 (from £1,000). Any whiplash claim with a compensation payout of less than £5,000 will be dealt with in the Small Claims court from May 31st.
To standardise the compensation payouts for whiplash injuries, the Civil Liabilities Act 2018 will also introduce a structured tariff system from May 31st 2021. Rather than whiplash claims being awarded bespoke sums based on multiple unique factors and characteristics, the tariff framework will use minimal criteria in assessing the severity and impact of the injury. As a result, the compensation payout for minor whiplash claims will be dramatically reduced to reflect the limited impact these have on the claimant. A table of these tariffs can be found further down the page.
The “Official Injury Claim“ portal is launching from May 31st 2021. Due to the limited value of the claims being allocated to the SCT, it will become the responsibility of the claimants to handle the claim themselves. The OIC Portal will be a web based platform through which any claimant making a whiplash claim will need to file and manage their own claim including providing any required details, submitting medical reports and handling all associated tasks in relation to their claim. If a claimant wishes to appoint a solicitor to assist them with their whiplash claim, the cost will likely not be recoverable from a third party as representation in the SCT track is not usually a covered disbursement.
From May 31st 2021, any whiplash claim worth less than £5,000 compensation will need to be dealt with personally by the injured claimant using the OIC Portal. The compensation received for the whiplash injury will be in-line with the below table:
As part of the reforms, the amount of compensation a claimant can receive is determined by the medical reports they submit to the OIC Portal. The compensation is split into Lower and Upper tariffs depending on whether there are any psychological issues as a result of the road traffic accident that caused the whiplash injuries.
Lower Tariff: Whiplash with no provable psychological issue.
Upper Tariff: Whiplash with provable minor psychological issues.
|Duration of Injury||Lower Tariff||Upper Tariff|
|Less than 3 months||£240||£260|
How can we help?
Connect have been working closely with our Legal cover provider to ensure the impact to our customers is as minimal as possible.
From May 1st 2021, we will be launching our new Motor Legal Expenses Insurance product that includes cover to assist our customers with making whiplash claims in the unfortunate event it is required.
The revised product offering will provide a policyholder with cover of all legal fees with no upper or lower limit to ensure they receive 100% of their whiplash compensation payout.
Other key benefits of the Motor Legal Expenses Insurance include:
- Arrangement of rehabilitation to begin the recovery process.
- Instructing of a medical expert to confirm the injuries sustained.
- Valuation of compensation against the medical evidence.
- Recovery of any losses incurred, including loss of earnings.
- Fighting to secure the best outcome
- Recovering maximum compensation from the at fault party.
For more information, get in touch today to discuss.
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