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Traffic accident personal injury reform date confirmed

Written by: Emma Lunn
A package of measures introduced by the government to reform the way low-value personal injury claims arising from road traffic accidents are managed will go ahead in May.

Known as the ‘whiplash reforms’, the aim of the measures is to reduce insurance costs for motorists by tackling the continuing high number and cost of whiplash claims.

The reforms, put together by the Ministry of Justice under the Civil Liability Act 2018, involve a number of legislative changes. The act will introduce a new fixed tariff of damages for pain, suffering and loss of amenity as well as banning claims being settled without a medical assessment. It will also increase the small claims track limit for road traffic accident related personal injury claims.

Introduction of the reforms has been repeatedly delayed, most recently due to the coronavirus pandemic. The rule change was supposed to come into effect on 1 August 2020 but this was pushed back to April 2021.

Robert Buckland, secretary of state for justice, announced in a statement that the programme will now be implemented in May 2021.

Buckland said: “This is a sensible and pragmatic approach to take in order to achieve successful and effective implementation of the Whiplash Reform Programme. Delivering these reforms remains a key government priority and we will continue to work with stakeholders to ensure that all are sufficiently prepared for the new measures upon implementation.”

Andrew Morrish, claims director at Aviva, said: “This is a rare bit of good news for consumers, who have endured a long wait for the whiplash reforms. Consumers will appreciate the certainty that this update provides, and for good reason: the reforms will reduce pressure on the cost of motor insurance, while ridding our roads from crash for cash fraudsters. Aviva was the first insurer to call for these reforms, and we stand by our promise to pass on 100% of the savings from the reforms to our customers.”

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