The April 2021 Whiplash Reforms – What You Should Know

The Civil Liability Reforms will reduce the levels of damages that people suffering whiplash injuries in road traffic accidents are able to claim by up to 90% (based on initial tariffs proposed in 2018). For example, an injury lasting up to three months could be compensated in the region of £225 under the new tariff system, compared to £1,750 on average at the moment; and the amount payable for an injury lasting 9-12 months could fall from £4,000 to £1,250.

When do these changes come into effect?

The reforms are due to come into force in April 2021, however, this has been delayed twice during 2020.

What does this mean for someone who has a Road Traffic Accident?

  • Compensation for small claims will be decided on a tariff-based system, which is being introduced to limit the amount of money that you can receive. These tariffs have not been officially published yet by the Government, but the proposed figures are significantly lower than the current amounts likely to be awarded.
  • Claimants will in most cases have to pay their own legal costs, even if successful. For many the only option may be to represent themselves, as going forward all claims with injuries worth less than £5,000, no solicitors costs will be payable in addition to any compensation awarded. Currently, the small claims limit for injuries incurred through Road Traffic Accidents is £1,000.
  • Alternative funding arrangements may be available such as Damages Based Agreements but ultimately this will still mean your compensation is lower than what you would be awarded now.
  • All Road Traffic Accident claims valued less than £5,000 will now need to be put through the online litigants in person portal which is also currently delayed.
  • Making a whiplash injury claim is likely to be more difficult and costly under the new rules. A claim is, for example, highly unlikely to be accepted without expert medical evidence so costs will be incurred by the litigant in person. 

My accident has already happened – will the changes affect me?

The new tariffs will apply according to the date you start your claim, not the date of injury. You are therefore best advised to start a claim before April 2021.

Speak to our road traffic accident specialists!

At Browell Smith & Co Solicitors, our legal experts have a wealth of experience in handling personal injury cases and are always happy to discuss matters with you. Contact our expert team today to arrange a free initial telephone consultation or alternatively use our Call Back Request or Live Chat function on our website.

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