Earlier this year, the law on personal injury claims changed. The Whiplash Reform Programme was implemented with the intention to clamp down on fraudulent whiplash claims which had become commonplace following road traffic accidents. They will do just that, but are also impacting heavily on genuine claims, making it much more difficult to attain legal assistance and complete a claim.
What changes have been made?
Prior to 31st May 2021, the Small Claims Track (SCT) limit for Road Traffic Accident (RTA) related Personal injury claims was £1,000. This meant any claim for personal injury over £1000 following a Road Traffic Accident (RTA) which was settled in your favour would result in the insurers of the vehicle at fault paying not only the awarded compensation but also your legal costs.
The changes have raised this limit to £5,000, meaning since the end of May this year, all RTA claims deemed below the value of £5,000 only have access to the small claims court. This means whilst such claims can still progress, an individual raising any such claim is now unable to claim back their legal costs.
This has created hesitancy amongst potential claimants due to the worry of having to pursue a claim on a privately paying basis rather than through a no win no fee arrangement. The option of representing yourself is also an option but this does not come without risk.
We Can Help
Here at Watson Ramsbottom we are still taking instructions for personal injury claims arising from RTAs.
For those of you who are cyclists, pedestrians, motorcyclists or horse riders, the aforementioned legislation changes do not apply to yourself and we can deal with your case on a ‘No win no fee’ agreement.
For drivers and passengers of motor vehicles who have suffered personal injury as a result of an RTA, if the accident occurred: –
- On or before 31st May 2021 – we can deal with your case on a ‘No win no fee’ agreement.
- After 31st May 2021 and your claim is valued above £5,000 – we can deal with your case on a ‘No win no fee’ agreement.
- After 31st May 2021 and your claim is valued below £5,000 – we can deal with your case on a Damages Based Agreement. This is similar to our conditional fee agreement (no win no fee) but we would take 25% of any settlement amount to cover our fees for handling the case – if the case is unsuccessful, there is no cost to you
As always, we’ve #GotYourBack and would like to reiterate the importance of continuing to contact us if such incidents occur. Despite the changes, if you have been in a road traffic accident, we are still able to help you seek compensation for your injuries.