Government Announces Increase to the Small Claims Limit for Personal Injury Claims

Author:

James Braund, specialist personal injury and clinical negligence solicitor at Trethowans LLP’s Poole Office, reports that the Government has announced that it plans to increase the small claims limit for Road Traffic Accident personal injury claims to £5,000.00 and for all other personal injury claims to £2,000.00. It is understood that the Government hopes to be able to implement these reforms in October 2018.

The changes to the small claims limit will mean that Claimants who have a personal injury claim below these thresholds will not be able to claim any legal costs in addition to their compensation. As a result such Claimants face either having to look to bring their claim themselves or having to fund legal advice and representation out of their compensation.

It was also announced that compensation for Road Traffic Accident personal injury claims will be overhauled and replaced with a fixed tariff system for whiplash injuries lasting up to 2 years. There will also be a ban on any offers to settle the claim before medico-legal evidence is obtained.

The Government has proposed compensation limited to £225 for injuries lasting up to 3 months, £450 for 6 months, £765 for 9 months, £1,190 for 1 year, £1,820 for 15 months, £2,660 for 18 months and £3,725 for 2 years. Such figures appear considerably less than Claimants could currently expect, with the current version of the Judicial College Guidelines suggesting that a neck injury with a full recovery within 3 months could carry an award of up to £2,050, a neck injury resolving within 1 year could mean an award of up to £3,630 and a neck injury which lasts 2 years an award of £6,600.