United Kingdom

Whiplash reforms – Delayed until April 2020

The Ministry of Justice (MOJ) has confirmed the whiplash reform measures which were due to come into effect on 1st April 2019 have been delayed until April 2020.

The whiplash reforms were first proposed in 2015 with the aim of making it harder for people to claim compensation for exaggerated or fraudulent whiplash claims. This aim was to be achieved through two broad measures:

  • Reduce money compensation for the injury by setting a fixed amount payable for injuries lasting less than 2 years i.e. tariff system
  • Reduce the amount an insurer must pay in costs for the claim by increasing the Small Claims Track limit from £1,000 to £5,000

Announcing the delay, the MOJ stated, “There will need to be extensive user testing to ensure that the system is easy to use for all user groups and that the guidance is clear.

This is why the government is now proposing for the platform to be ready for large-scale testing by October 2019 with the view to implementing the whiplash measures, including the rise in the small claims limit to £5,000, fully in April 2020.”

The announcement follows a report by the Justice Select Committee which criticised the proposed increase in the small claims limit. It also recommended a prolonged testing period to mitigate any technological challenges in launching and managing the electronic platform that will handle the pre-action stages of lower value personal injury.

Source / Further Reading: https://www.legalfutures.co.uk/latest-news/whiplash-reforms-delayed-a-year-to-april-2020