We’re now a year on from the introduction of the Prison and Courts Bill in February 2017.
This brought with it sweeping proposals for personal injury reform.
These reforms are intended to bring an end to the so called ‘compensation culture’ which is seen as exploited by whiplash claims.
For example the Ministry of Justice said it will introduce fixed tariffs capping whiplash and minor psychological injury pay-outs in road traffic accidents (RTAs). It also proposes a ban on the settling of claims without medical evidence.
Claimants will therefore fall into a specific bracket and be compensated accordingly in line with the associated tariff. This provides for a very rigid, generalised and impersonal settlement of any low value RTA claim, not taking any account of how a Claimant has been personally affected as a result of any RTA.
In exchange for these proposals is motor insurers’ promise that they will cut insurance premiums. It appears that the MOJ see these proposals as catering to the lesser of two evils.
Despite the Bill being dropped in the run up to the general election last year, the MOJ has now announced the likely implementation of these reforms on 1 October 2018.
Perhaps the government need to focus less on this ‘compensation culture epidemic’ and more on the existence of a careless driving epidemic.
There were an estimated 176,500 casualties of all severities as a result of RTAs in the year ending June 2017 in Great Britain.
Therefore, the focus needs to shift onto measures to prevent such a volume of RTAs.
The increased penalty on the use of phones whilst driving saw a major drop in this behaviour. Perhaps further measures to decrease careless behaviour whilst driving should be brought in.
Rather than placing a more stringent method of recovery on Claimants affected by RTAs, the government should put into place a more stringent response to the actual careless driving.
If you’ve been involved in an accident then contact us, we may be able to help.
Author: Frankie Gibbons