Government confirms that it will, after all, consult on further whiplash and small claims reform

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Rumours that the Government is set to consult on both the removal, or capping, of damages of damages for whiplash claims, and an increase in the small claims court limit for personal injury cases have been confirmed by the Government.

BBC Radio 4 has said that the Ministry of Justice has confirmed that it will look to tackle whiplash claims, which it says are 50% higher than they were a decade ago despite a fall in accidents. It told the radio station that it intended to deal with a “predatory claims industry”.

The confirmation comes only a month after The Times had reported that the Government would be dropping any further reform of the personal injury market for the immediate future. This has now turned out to be false following the news aired on BBC Radio 4’s You and Yours programme today.

Brett Dixon, vice president of the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL) branded the proposals “heavy handed and excessive” and called instead for the Government to address the scourge of cold calling for personal injury.

“One of the perennial problems we come across is cold calling, and that should be banned,” he said.

Dixon also said that the Government’s proposal to force the vast majority of personal injury victims into the small claims court, which he said is better suited to arguments about faulty fridges than bodily injury, would leave the injured person with three stark options.

“To represent himself and hope to be treated fairly; to pay for legal representation out of his damages, or simply not to proceed when someone has negligently caused you an injury,” he said.

He added that the proposals would send common law “back to the Dark Ages”.

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Marek Handzel

Marek Handzel is the editor of Claims Magazine. Marek welcomes articles, letters, or feedback from readers and can be reached by emailing marek.handzel@barkerbrooks.co.uk