Civil Liability Bill – Reforms to the RTA small claims limit

26 January 2018

The Civil Liability Bill is yet to be implemented and was anticipated to be in place to in October 2018. However recent Government developments lead us to believe that there may be a delay stretching into 2019. The Government advised that the Bill was to ‘ensure there is a fair, transparent and proportional system of compensation in place for damages paid to genuinely injured personal injury claimants’ and insurance companies push for the same to address to help in the ‘battle against fraudulent claims’ and the ‘compensation culture’ that surrounds road traffic accidents, in return they advised that insurance premiums would decrease by approximately £50.00.

Inclusions that were expected in the Bill that will affect everyday motorists involved in road traffic accidents included;

  •  Increasing the small claims limit, currently the limit stands at £1,000.00 but would be increased to £5,000.00;
  • Introduce a fixed tariff of compensation for whiplash claims lasting up to 2 years;
  •  Ban on insurance companies making offers to Claimant’s before medical evidence is obtained;

No formal evidence was provided by the insurance companies’ to support that fraudulent claims were as high as they initially suggested and many of the large insurance providers have backtracked on promises to reduce insurance premiums following the Bill being pushed forwards.

It would appear though that implementation of the Bill could be delayed beyond the expected date in October 2018, which has come as a relief to most Personal Injury Solicitors and groups who are still arguing for the reforms to be scrapped or amended. Concerns being that the insurance companies shall be the only ones to profit and benefit from the reforms, as the genuinely injured and vulnerable shall be prevented from having legal representation to assist them against representatives for the insurance companies.