It could be said, that the Whiplash reforms have been the victim of a yoyo effect, since the Autumn of 2015.
In October 2016, the Ministry of Justice shelved the reforms not long after Mr. Osbourne’s announcement of the reforms only 11 months earlier, in his Autumn Statement of November 2015.
Once elected into the Government, Elizabeth Truss took little time, in confirming that it was her intention to push forward with the reforms. On 17th November 2016, the MOJ launched a consultation on proposals.
The consultation paper outlined plans to scrap the right to compensation, or put a cap on the amount people can claim for minor whiplash injuries. Capping compensation would see the average pay-out cut from £1,850 to a maximum amount of £425. Compensation would only be paid out if a medical report was provided as proof of injury.
Other measures included:
introducing a transparent tariff system of compensation payments for claims with more significant injuries.
raising the limit for cases in the small claims court for all personal injury claims from £1,000 to £5,000.
banning offers to settle claims without medical evidence. All claims would need a report from a MedCo accredited medical expert before any pay out
On 23rd February 2017 following a consultation Period, the Government announced its plans to implement the changes proposed in the MOJ’s consultation. Whiplash claims were capped at £425 per claim.
On Tuesday 18th April 2017, the Prime Minster called a snap General Election, in attempts to ensure Brexit unity.
On Thursday 20th April 2017, it was announced by the Government that they no longer intend to continue with the Parliamentary bill which saw an end to Whiplash Reforms.
Questions have been asked as to whether the bill has been scrapped entirely, or whether the bill has just been postponed, in anticipation of the pending General Election? Although no definitive answer has been forthcoming, it is assumed that, should the Conservative Party be re-elected into Government, that the Bill will be reinitiated. However, we may now not see the proposed changes implemented until April 2019.
Should you wish to know more, or have any queries surrounding the Whiplash Reforms, please contact one of our Lawyers on 01707 246989.