Reforming the soft tissue injury (‘whiplash’) claims process – A point of view

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From its publication in November 2016, the Government's consultation "Reforming the soft tissue injury (‘whiplash') claims process" provoked much commentary from insurers and professionals who work with personal injury claims. The consultation included 31 questions and for good measure the Ministry of Justice published an accompanying Impact Assessment which raised a further 40-odd questions/calls for data and information. The closing date of 6th January drew much criticism as the pressure was on stakeholders to respond so shortly after the Christmas break.

On 17 January the Financial Secretary to the Treasury announced, in advance of the Government releasing its response to the consultation, that legislation would be started "later this month".  This is bound to reinforce the general perception that the reforms are a "done deal" irrespective of the views of respondents.  

In this article, ARAG's Lesley Attu sheds light on the proposed reforms and considers the implications for claimants and insurers.

Topics covered include:
• Compensation reduced for whiplash claims.
• Raising the small claims limit.
• Litigants in person.
• Pre-medical offers.
• Introducing time restrictions.