Civil Liability Bill to be debated in September

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The Civil Liability Bill will receive its second reading on 4 September.

The key plank of the government’s whiplash reform will return to the House of Commons, where MPs will debate the key changes it will bring to personal injury claims and the discount rate.

The Civil Liability Bill was last seen in the House of Lords, where an amendment that would have removed tariffs for limiting damages was rejected.

Government justice spokesperson Lord Keen did say that the Civil Liability Bill would be amended at its next stage to allow consultation with the lord chief justice before the tariff is set.

Damages for whiplash claims will be capped and settlements struck without medical evidence banned under the Civil Liability Bill, which will also move the calculation of the personal injury discount rate, currently set at -0.75%, away from ‘very low risk’ to ‘low risk’ investments, as well as introduce an expert group to advise on its level every three years.

Separate secondary legislation is also increasing the small claims limit for road traffic accident claims to £5,000 and for all other personal injury claims to £2,000. These plans were recently delayed until 2020.

Opponents of the legislation argue that it will unjustly curtail compensation that can be claimed.

Insurers have pledged to pass on the estimated £1.2 billion that they will save as a result of whiplash reform, although the government has been criticised for not including a means in the Civil Liability Bill to ensure that this will happen.

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Mark Dugdale is the editor of Claims Media. Mark welcomes articles, letters or feedback from readers and can be reached via mark.dugdale@barkerbrooks.co.uk