Will the Civil Liability Bill stop me from making a personal injury claim?
Bob Beard of the Personal Injury team at Coodes Solicitors comments on proposed changes to making a personal injury claim through the Civil Liability Bill.
Many of you may be aware of proposed changes to making a personal injury claim, following a road accident. The Government is debating the Civil Liability Bill, which would bring about changes in legislation for some who seek compensation after being injured on the roads. The Bill recently had a second hearing in the House of Commons but Ministers remain divided on the proposed changes.
What is the Civil Liability Bill?
The Civil Liability Bill is designed to make significant changes to the personal injury compensation system. It aims are to deter fraudulent claims and bring down motor insurance costs. Despite a fall in reported accidents, there has recently been a sharp increase in compensation claims for injuries sustained on the roads. Whiplash injuries accounted for around 85 per cent of road accident personal injury claims in 2016/17. This increase in claims has been blamed for spiralling motor insurance costs.
The Civil Liability Bill proposes the following changes:
- Excluding motor cyclists and cyclists from claiming for whiplash injuries and restricting this to those travelling in cars
- Introducing a new tariff system for whiplash claims, which will prevent anyone from making a claim of £5,000 or under for injuries sustained in a road accident
- Ban the settling of whiplash claims without medical evidence
When will the Civil Liability Bill come into force?
It is important to note that the system has not yet been changed. Anyone who is injured on the roads can currently claim compensation for a traffic accident that wasn’t their fault.
With MPs still divided on the issues, it remains unclear when any changes would be implemented. News reports suggest that there is likely to be a vote in the House of Commons following a third reading of the Bill. Although there is no set date for any changes to be introduced, it could happen soon.
What should I do if I want to claim compensation for being injured in a road accident?
Anyone who has had the misfortune to be injured in a road accident will know how traumatic the experience can be. Having advised many people in this situation over the years, I recognise that even a relatively minor injury can have a long-lasting effect: the cyclist who faces the financial strain of losing the confidence to ride to work or the car passenger who has to take sick leave to recover from the emotional stress of having been in an accident. Many of those people making relatively small claims face major lifestyle changes as a result of their accident.
Whatever the outcome of the Civil Liability Bill, here at Coodes we will remain committed to helping anyone injured in a road accident as best we can.