Adrian Cormack Partner Coles Miller

Claim Injury Compensation Now...Before The Law Changes14th Mar 2017

by Adrian Cormack on 14th Mar 2017

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Don’t delay if you’ve had an accident that wasn’t your fault – you need to claim compensation now before the government makes it more difficult.Road accident solicitor Adrian Cormack, a Partner at Coles Miller Solicitors, Poole, Dorset

Planned reforms would have a devastating effect on your ability to claim proper compensation for your injuries.

Under the new rules, costs for road accident claims below £5,000 would no longer be paid by the defendant’s insurer. This would make it harder to take legal action.

Also, damages could be reduced for claims under 24 months (from date of injury to date of recovery). The government is proposing a new tariff system: damages could be capped as low as £450.

Numbers of whiplash claims are expected to halve as a result. The insurers would be laughing all the way to the bank.

But what of the poor unfortunate victims? Many would no longer get proper compensation.

And there’s more…

Early Compensation Offers Would Be Banned

Offers to settle whiplash claims before medical evidence has been obtained would be banned under the new law.

It’s supposedly a way of stopping fraudulent claims early on.

But it would also have an unfortunate side effect – it could delay interim compensation payments for genuine victims.

Interim payments are important because they help victims to get swift treatment and rehabilitation to reduce the long-term impact of their injuries.

But under the proposed changes, an insurer wouldn’t able to make any payments until the victim produced medical evidence.

And this can take time – not least because the NHS is struggling to cope on so many fronts.

So once again, genuine victims would continue to suffer.

Fewer Victims Would Be Able To Claim Back Court Costs

What if your injuries were not as a result of a road accident? What if it were another type of accident?

At present, you can claim court costs from the defendant if your injuries are worth more than £1,000 in compensation.

But this £1,000 small claims limit is set to double to £2,000 – meaning that you couldn’t claim costs if your case were worth less than £2,000.

That would make some victims reluctant to go to court to claim what is rightfully theirs.

When Would All This Happen?

All these planned changes are listed in the Prisons and Courts Bill. The earliest they would become law is October 2018 (but April 2018 is more likely for the increase in the small claims limit).

Right now that might sound like some way off but don’t leave it too long before claiming. Time is not on your side. Time is marching on.

For more information, contact Coles Miller Partner Adrian Cormack, head of the Personal Injury Department, 01202 355695. 

This document is not intended to constitute and should not be used as a substitute for legal advice on any specific matter. No liability for the accuracy of the content of this document, or the consequences of relying on it, is assumed by the author. If you seek further information, please contact Managing Partner Neil Andrews at Coles Miller Solicitors LLP.