Government publishes response to whiplash reforms consultation

The Ministry of Justice has published part one of its response to the ‘Reforming the soft tissue injury (‘whiplash’) claims process’ consultation. This response provides further detail on the package of measures which is designed to discourage minor, exaggerated and fraudulent road traffic accident (RTA) related whiplash claims.

Alarm provided a response to the consultation on behalf of Members. The consultation closed on 6 January 2017, and following analysis the Government is to take forward the following reforms:

  • The introduction of a tariff of fixed compensation for pain, suffering and loss of amenity for claims with an injury duration of between 0 and 24 months.
  • Providing the judiciary with the facility to both decrease the amount awarded under the tariff in cases where there may be contributory negligence or to increase the award (with increases capped at no more than 20%) in exceptional circumstances.
  • Introducing a ban on both the offering, payment and requesting of offers to settle claims without medical evidence.
  • Increasing the small claims limit for RTA related personal injury claims to £5,000;
  • Increasing the small claims limit for all other types of personal injury claim to £2,000.

Items one to three above will be introduced through provisions in the Prisons and Courts Bill. Items four and five will be introduced through secondary legislative procedures, and it is the Government’s intention to implement these reforms as a package once the Prisons and Courts Bill has completed its Parliamentary passage.

Copies of the Government response and other related documents can be accessed from the Ministry of Justice website.

This is the first part of the Government’s response to the recent consultation. Part two will be published in due course and will cover the ‘implementing recommendations from the Insurance Fraud Taskforce’ and ‘call for evidence’ sections of the consultation.

The proposals are broadly in line with Alarm's response and views of those Members that took part. Alarm will be providing further material on these reforms as this develops.