Whiplash reforms come into force

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New rules on whiplash claims came into force on 31 May 2021.

The reforms include a new user-friendly online portal for whiplash or road traffic accident (RTA) claims under £5,000. They also introduce a ban on settling whiplash cases without medical evidence.

Justice minister Robert Buckland QC MP said: “For too long the system for making whiplash claims has been open to abuse by individuals looking for an easy payday—with ordinary motorists paying the price.”

“Our changes, which come into force today, will put an end to this greedy opportunism and ultimately see savings put back into the pockets of the country’s drivers.”

Dominic Clayden, chief executive of the Motor Insurers’ Bureau (MIB), which operates the new Official Injury Claim online portal, said: “We are pleased to have delivered on our remit to build a service that meets the requirements of these important policy changes.”

“MIB’s focus has always been about making sure the new legal process is as easy and straightforward as possible for anyone who might need to make a claim.”

“To make sure the service works well for everyone we will continue our work with the Ministry of Justice to listen to feedback and to make further enhancements.”

Key changes that have been introduced include:

  • A new digital portal to make a claim for any road traffic related personal injury valued at under £5,000, including claims for whiplash. This means claimants can settle their own claim without the use of a lawyer if they wish.
  • Increasing the small claims track limit for RTA personal injury claims from £1,000 to £5,000. Therefore, the majority of all RTA claims will now proceed through the cheaper small claims track where legal costs are not recoverable.
  • A new fixed tariff of compensation for whiplash injuries setting out how much can be claimed for an injury, depending on how long it impacted the claimant with the duration up to two years.
  • A ban on the practice of seeking or offering to settle whiplash claims without first obtaining medical evidence.

The reforms are part of measures contained in Part 1 of the Civil Liability Act 2018.

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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