Will my claim be affected by the 2021 Whiplash Reforms?
13 December 2021 by Rhian Lowe
The long-awaited reforms for whiplash injuries, which were first proposed in 2015, came into force on 31 May 2021.
The reforms, which form part of the Civil Liability Act 2018, are a package of measures designed to modify the way low-value personal injury claims arising from road traffic accidents (RTAs) are managed.
They have reduced compensation awards and changed the law in regard to recovering legal costs in the majority of road traffic accident claims, such that costs recovery is generally not permitted. As a result these forms have been opposed in the past by many personal injury solicitors.
You will be affected by these reforms if you meet the following conditions:-
- You are over 18;
- You were injured in a road traffic accident;
- The accident occurred on or after 31 May 2021;
- You suffered whiplash injuries;
- You were a driver or passenger of a motor vehicle; and
- Your injuries are worth less than £5,000 and your total value of your claim is less than £10,000.
If you meet these conditions then you will now have to make a claim through the new official injury claim portal https://www.officialinjuryclaim.org.uk/. Your whiplash injuries will be valued according to a fixed tariff and you will be unable to claim any legal fees.
What is a whiplash injury?
These new reforms define a whiplash injury as a soft tissue injury to the neck, back or shoulders. This will include damage to muscles, tendons or ligaments and damage to soft tissues.
It is important to note that if you suffered injuries that do not include soft tissue damage, such as a broken bone, then these reforms will not apply to you and a claim may be able to proceed in the usual way.
If you have just suffered a whiplash type injury then the below tariff system will be of relevance to you. Please note that the compensation award is purely based on how long the injury lasted and whether or not psychological symptoms are/were also suffered. The Courts can uplift compensation by up to 20% in exceptional circumstances.
|Duration of Injury||Amount (for Whiplash Alone)||Amount (for Whiplash and Minor Psychological Injury)|
|Not more than 3 months||£240||£260|
|More than 3 months, but not more than 6 months||£495||£520|
|More than 6 months, but not more than 9 months||£840||£895|
|More than 9 months, but not more than 12 months||£1,320||£1,390|
|More than 12 months, but not more than 15 months||£2,040||£2,125|
|More than 15 months, but not more than 18 months||£3,005||£3,100|
|More than 18 months, but not more than 24 months||£4,215||£4,345|
How can FJG help you?
If you were a pedestrian, a cyclist, a motorcyclist (including if you were a passenger on a motorbike) or the rider of a scooter (as a driver or passenger) then your claim will be unaffected by the Whiplash Reforms and we can assist you in the usual way. The tariff for compensation (shown above) will not apply, regardless of whether or not you only suffered whiplash type injuries.
Similarly, personal injury claims made by children under the age of 18 are unaffected.
If you have had an accident as a result of a slip, trip or fall or an accident at work then these changes will not apply to you and we would suggest that you contact [email protected] or call 01206 835269 where someone will be able to assist you further.
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