The law relating to Road Traffic Accidents changed on the 31st May 2021. If you are either a driver or a passenger in a vehicle involved in a Road Traffic Accident and have suffered a soft tissue whiplash injury, then you will be affected by the new ‘whiplash reforms’. Any injuries sustained in a Road Traffic Accident before the 31st May 2021 will not be caught by the new reforms.
As of the 31st May 2021 all drivers and passengers injured in a non-fault accident will be hit by the increase in the small claims limit, which has risen from £1,000.00 to £5,000.00. This means if your claim is worth less than £5000.00, many solicitors will no longer be able to take on your claim as they will be unable to recover their legal costs. Instead, Claimants will need to pursue a claim themselves, using the new Official Injury Claim Portal https://www.officialinjuryclaim.org.uk/
Most whiplash, soft tissue and minor fracture injuries will fall below the £5,000.00 limit, meaning many Claimants will be left without legal representation. In addition, the damages awarded for soft tissue whiplash injuries will be severely reduced to as little as £240.00 for a 3 month whiplash injury. This is much lower than the damages that would have been received prior to the implementation of the new rules for a similar injury.
Therefore, many Claimants are at a great disadvantage as they will have to pursue a claim on their own, without legal support and will ultimately receive less compensation under the new rules.
However, vulnerable road users are exempt from the new ‘whiplash reforms’ and the small claims limit for exempt Claimants remains at £1,000.00. This means vulnerable road users will still be able to access traditional legal support to claim for compensation.
The following list details the exemptions to the new small claims limit increase:
- The Claimant is a child or a protected party;
- The Claimant is a ‘vulnerable road user’. A ‘vulnerable road user’ could be a: motorcyclist, pillion or sidecar passenger, pedestrian, horse-rider or mobility-scooter user;
- The Claimant is undischarged bankrupt or is acting as a personal representative on behalf of a deceased person;
- The Defendant’s vehicle was registered outside of the UK on the date of the Road Traffic Accident.
If you have been injured in a Road Traffic Accident and believe you may be exempt from the new ‘whiplash reforms’ please contact us on 0113 284 5017 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for further advice on pursuing a claim for compensation.