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What are the Whiplash Reforms and do they affect you?

If you have been the victim of a road traffic accident you should be aware that changes to compensation claims for whiplash injuries have been introduced as part of a crackdown on claims being made for injuries suffered in such accidents.  The new rules apply to occupants of vehicles involved in road traffic accidents after 31st May 2021.  For accidents after this date injured, people are only entitled to fixed tariff compensation for whiplash, soft tissue damage and minor psychological injuries where the symptoms last for no more than 2 years.

The reforms to whiplash claims have also banned pre-medical offers. These are offers that insurers can make before medical evidence is obtained to confirm an injury has been suffered.

One of the downsides of the reforms other than the significant reduction in the level of compensation awarded to injured victims compared to pre-31st May 2021 is that for these types of whiplash claims legal costs can no longer be recovered from the other party in the case or their insurer.

If you have suffered a whiplash injury as an occupant of a vehicle in the scenario under the reforms then the claim now has to be brought online direct through the Official Injury Claims website.  There are guidance notes to assist.  It is important to note that claims must be made within 3 years of the accident date and only claims under the following criteria should be dealt with under the new reforms:

  • Road traffic accident after 31st May 2022
  • The injured person was an occupant of a vehicle at the time
  • An injured person is over 18 years of age
  • The accident occurred in England or Wales
  • The value of the injury is under £5000
  • The value of the injury and other losses and expenses claimed is under £10,0000
  • Someone else is at fault or partly at fault
  • The other vehicle involved has a UK registration plate
  • The other vehicle details are known

The official injury claims service should not be used when the following applies and in all cases in any event it is recommended that legal advice is sought before the submission of a claim for compensation.

  1. The injured person is under 18 years of age or does not have the mental capacity.
  2. The injured person is a motorcyclist, pillion or sidecar passenger, cyclist, pedestrian, horse rider, scooter rider
  3. The injured person has suffered injuries other than whiplash or soft tissue injuries to the neck, shoulder or back.

Given the changing landscape relating to road traffic accidents and the evolving case law tackling how such cases should proceed it would be wise for legal advice to be sought before action is taken.

For any enquiries or additional details regarding the subject matter, please feel free to contact Lyn Ryan via email: lryan@tmjlegal.co.uk

Lyn

About the author

Lyn Ryan

Lyn is a personal injury solicitor having represented clients in a varied caseload for over 25 years and has a breadth of experience.

TMJ Legal Services

TMJ Legal Services has been helping individuals and businesses since 1986. We offer a range of advice and services. 

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