increase the small claims limit from £1,000 to £5,000 in respect of personal injury claims and secondly, to withdraw the right for road traffic accident victims to claim compensation for whiplash type injuries. The vast majority of personal injury claims for injury are valued at less the £5,000 for general damages (i.e. compensation for the injury and pain). This may include painful and debilitating injuries such as a fractured wrist or ankle. Under the new proposals such injured persons would not be entitled to recover their legal costs in pursuing a claim for compensation. In many cases this will mean that the injured party will either decide not to pursue a claim for the compensation that they are rightfully entitled to or they will attempt to negotiate settlement of a claim directly with the defendant’s insurers (who will have their own best interests at heart and not that of the injured party). If that is not bad enough the proposal to eliminate the right to claim for soft tissue whiplash type injuries adds insult to injury (excuse the pun!). The government says they expect insurers to pass on savings made to motorists at a rate of about £40 - £50 per customer. That’s great (if it happens) but how does that help Jo Bloggs who was injured in a road traffic accident and cannot carry out his job as a self employed builder for the next 6 months and whose mortgage is in arrears???
Chancellor George Osborne has pledged to raise the small claims limit for personal injury claims to £5,000 and scrap general damages for ‘minor’ soft tissue injuries.