Justice Secretary Chris Grayling has shelved plans to increase the small claims track limit from £1,000 to £5,000.
Mr Grayling had been set to make the change in order to combat a perceived ‘claims culture’ in the UK, which was allegedly resulting in an increase of fraudulent whiplash claims. However, after listening to arguments against the plans from the transport select committee, he has opted to keep the limit as it is.
Personal injury solicitors have praised him for keeping the limit at its current level, saying it will ensure legitimately injured whiplash victims will not be deterred from seeking compensation.
Medical evidence needed
Instead of increasing the claim threshold, Mr Grayling has outlined plans to ensure an end to claims where compensation is paid out by insurers without the claimant providing any medical proof of their whiplash injuries.
The Ministry of Justice plans to bring in independent medical panels to help decide whiplash cases, and will rule that only their evidence can be used to help decide the outcome of these claims.
Solicitors will also have a greater responsibility to check that their clients’ claims are legitimate. It is hoped that a reduction in false whiplash claims will help push the cost of car insurance premiums down.
Future increase not ruled out
While Mr Grayling accepted the select committee’s view that any increase in the small claims limit could potentially harm honest whiplash claimants, he did not rule out imposing some sort of increase in future.
“At this stage, we have decided to defer any increase in the small claims track until we can determine the impact of our wider reforms on motor insurance premiums and better safeguard against the risks,” he explained.
Claiming whiplash compensation
At Croftons Solicitors, we recognise that whiplash can be very painful for road traffic accident victims.
With this latest announcement from the Ministry of Justice, we can continue to help the genuinely injured secure compensation from whoever was at fault for their accident.
For help and advice from our experienced team, call us on 0800 2800 094 or fill in our online form.