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Solicitors in Longridge, MG Legal, know that there has been a lot of negative press lately in respect of the deemed compensation culture and you may well have heard comments about a “red tape” era or “where’s there a blame there’s a claim”. And it is hardly surprising when it is rumoured that back in the 1990’s some Claimant Personal Injury Solicitors would bill £600,000.00 each for doing Road Traffic Accident Claims. 
In 2020 the rules are changing which, some argue, will deny people the opportunity to receive free legal assistance. This has led to Unions and Labour warning that hundreds of thousands of people may miss out on compensation for whiplash and other injuries. The Government who have said that their aim is to tackle the “compensation culture”, originally estimated that 133,000 people per year are likely to miss out on the opportunity to claim for an accident that is not their fault. Hhowever, research by Unison has suggested that it could be as many as 399,000 people could miss out on compensation for claims that are not their fault. April 2020 is when the ‘whiplash reforms’– affecting a range of muscle, ligament and soft tissue injuries with a prognosis of 0-24 months – come into force. 

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A new tariff system will dramatically reduce the amount of compensation awarded to individual whiplash victims. Injuries that are currently compensated at £2,000.00 upwards plus legal costs will now earn just £450.00 plus small claims costs. Also coming into force, are changes to small claims which set a threshold for recovery of the cost of legal advice. Those injured while inside a vehicle will no longer be able to recover costs if their claim is valued at £5,000.00 or less. Previously, the limit was £1,000.00. 
As part of its package of reforms, the Government intends to raise the small claims limit from £1,000.00 to £5,000.00 for road traffic accident-related personal injury claims, and to £2,000.00 for other personal injury claims. This would bring many more claims, including whiplash claims, arising out of road traffic accidents, within a regime where legal costs are not usually awarded to the successful party, meaning that many more claimants would probably conduct their claim without legal representation. The Government considers that the reforms would lead to savings of about £1.1bn and expects this to be passed on to motorists, resulting in an average saving per motor insurance premium of £35.00. 
The team of personal injury solicitors at MG Legal have never known the savings be passed on to the motorist before, but hope that all insurers abide by their promises this time. 
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