Rules on Whiplash Claims Come into Force
The ‘Whiplash Injury Regulations 2021’ take full effect from the 31st of May – setting out three noteworthy improvements:
- A potential reduction of £35 per year for motorists when they renew their car insurance premium.
- Online portal simplifies the whiplash injury claims process.
- The Official Injury Claim service enables claimants to source medical reports (e.g. evidence of trauma) before paying settlements.
So, why has the government introduced changes to the process for making low value road traffic accident (RTA) claims (e.g. soft tissue injuries)?
The primary reason is to reduce the high number of whiplash injury claims made each year – a statistic described as ‘totally unacceptable’.
To put that into perspective, there were well over 500,000 claims in 2019/20. Thus, reducing this number means insurers can cut annual premiums for millions of drivers.
New Whiplash Injury Reforms
The new online portal has an upper claims limit of £5,000 and is much simpler to use. Essentially, it removes the need for claimants to hire a lawyer.
Furthermore, banning the settlement of whiplash cases without acquiring medical evidence to support it will save insurers huge sums of money.
So, if insurers keep to their pledge and pass on the savings to drivers from the introduction of new reforms when claiming whiplash, it could be worth an extra £1.2 billion.
Note: The main section contains more health and safety news articles including a list of archives from previous years.
Road Traffic Accident (RTA) Claims
Without doubt, the United Kingdom has some of the safest roads in Europe. As a matter of fact, there have been fewer crashes reported year-on-year since 2013.
Yet, the number of road traffic accident claims is now a staggering 40 percent higher than it was back in 2006.
Why is that?
One reason is the reported increase in so-called ‘exaggerated’ and sometimes ‘disproportionate’ claims payouts for road traffic accidents. The net result is a sizable increase in the costs of insurance premiums for the majority of motorists.
So, clamping down on this type of unethical behaviour should go a long way in reducing the cost of car insurance premiums.
Comments from the Lord Chancellor
- The system for making whiplash claims has been open to outlandish abuse for far too long. Moreover, some individuals are looking for an easy payday. Yet, it is ordinary motorists that end up footing the bill.
- New rules for whiplash injury claims come into force today – Monday the 31st of May 2021. These changes end the most severe cases of greedy opportunism. We want to see the savings put back into the pockets of the drivers in this country.
Important whiplash reforms include:
- A new digital portal will make it easier to claim compensation for any road traffic related personal injury (under £5,000). Claimants can settle the issue themselves without using the services of a lawyer. The majority of road traffic accident claims are likely to use the digital portal after May 2021.
- The small claims track limit for road traffic accident-related (RTA) personal injury claims has increased to £5,000 from £1,000. Thus, they can proceed through the cheaper version (e.g. where legal costs cannot be recovered).
- A fixed tariff of compensation for whiplash injuries sets out how much you can claim back for an injury. As a rule, it will depend on how long the claimant was impacted throughout a two (2) year duration.
- The new measures ban the practice of seeking to settle (or offering to settle) whiplash claims without first obtaining appropriate medical evidence.
Duration of Injury and Compensation Amounts
- Not over 3 months: £240 to £260
- 3 – 6 months: £495 to £520
- 6 – 9 months: £840 to £895
- 9 – 12 months: £1,320 to £1,390
- 12 – 15 months: £2,040 to £2,125
- 15 – 18 months: £3,005 to £3,100
- 18 – 24 months: £4,215 to £4,345
Note: The whiplash injury reforms are part of a raft of other similar measures contained in Part 1 of the Civil Liability Act 2018.
Related Health and Safety Guides
- What is the first thing you should do after a cycling accident?
- Warning triangle: Is it a legal requirement in the United Kingdom?
- What is continuous insurance enforcement law in the UK?
Note: This short video explains more about the claims process for a whiplash injury and what steps you should take if you have a car accident.