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The “it’s time to regulate whiplash claims” Bill

Next Discussed

15th
May.

Current
Stage

What

This Bill will reform the process for whiplash claims for injuries resulting from road traffic accidents and will make changes to the way in which the personal injury discount rate is set.

The Bill will:

  • Provide for a tariff of compensation for pain, suffering for whiplash claims.
  • Introduce a ban on anyone seeking or offering to settle whiplash claims without medical evidence.
  • Provide for the Judiciary to increase the compensation payable by up to a certain amount in exceptional circumstances.

Why

In June 2017, the Conservative party formed a Government with a manifesto commitment to “reduce insurance costs for ordinary motorists by tackling the continuing high number and cost of whiplash claims”. This Bill contains measures that give effect to policies outlined in previous Government consultations regarding whiplash injuries arising from road traffic accidents and on the framework through which the personal injury discount rate is set.

The Government has expressed concern that the number of road traffic accident related personal injury claims has grown to be around fifty per cent higher than 10 years ago (520,000 claims registered in 2006/07compared with 780,000 in 2016/17), despite a reduction in the number of road traffic accidents reported to the police and improvements in vehicle safety.

The increasing number of whiplash claims has inflated the cost of motor insurance premiums, paid by motorists in England and Wales.

Who

This Bill was introduced by Lord Keen in the Ministry of Justice.

Other Arguments

This Bill has already attracted some criticism from compensation lawyers who say that it does not show enough compassion to people who have been genuinely injured in car accidents, and that there are no guarantees that the insurance industry will reduce their premiums as a result of the Bill. The president of the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers Brett Dixon said:

Any concept of fairness or compassion or help for genuinely injured people has been sacrificed in what the government is now openly calling a ‘bill to cut car insurance premiums.

How to get involved

You can contact your MP or the Ministry of Justice.

If I don’t act, will it go through?

This is a Government Bill so it is likely to go through.