Road Traffic Accident Reforms – What You Need to Know!Sam Myatt
Insurance companies say that the cost of car insurance policies increase year on year due mainly to the amount of personal injury claims made following road accidents.
The insurance industry have asked the Government for quite some time for changes to be made to tackle this. In 2013, substantial changes were made, which, amongst other things, limited the costs that could be claimed in personal injury claims, resulting in huge savings to insurance companies and their shareholders. However, despite these savings, most did not see a deduction to their insurance premiums.
Insurers understandably remained unhappy following the 2013 changes and pushed for even further reform. Now we are about to see arguably the biggest changes come into force, and you may not even be aware. These changes will fundamentally affect how and what you can claim for following a road traffic accident.
If you sustain a whiplash injury following an accident that takes place on or after 31st May 2021, the introduction of the Whiplash Injuries Regulations 2021 will mean that the level of compensation you receive will be capped in line with the tariffs contained within the Regulations. So what does this mean for you? By way of example, a whiplash injury lasting 3-6 months will likely attract a figure of £495 which is approximately a quarter of the sum that would probably have been awarded if the accident had occurred before the end of May 2021.
Furthermore, those bringing a claim for whiplash following a road traffic accident with a value of under £5,000 for their injuries will not be entitled to payment of their legal fees from the other parties’ insurers. This means that you will have to pay your solicitor to represent you in these claims or take on the well-funded insurer alone.
However, there are some exceptions to the new compensation amounts. Cases made by “vulnerable road users” will not fall within the reforms. This includes those who were injured whilst: –
- using a motorcycle;
- a pillion passenger on, or a passenger in a sidecar attached to, a motorcycle;
- using a wheelchair, a powered wheelchair or a mobility scooter;
- using a bicycle or other pedal cycle;
- riding a horse; or
- a pedestrian;
Chances are, you probably will not have heard about these reforms nor will come across them unless you have a road traffic accident after 31 May 2021, and whatever the fairness or merits of these reforms, they fundamentally affect all road traffic accidents and are here to stay.
If you would like more information regarding these reforms, or wish to speak to our expert Personal Injury Solicitors regarding a potential road traffic accident compensation claim, speak to one of our advisors on 01782 956363.