Small Claims Limit to Increase on May 31 2021

Simon Stanfield
Partner, Head of Road Traffic Accidents

Changes to how low-value road traffic accident claims can be made are set to come into force next week.

Under the current system, if you succeed on liability and your claim is worth more than £1,000, then you can recover your legal costs from the other side.

But this limit will increase to £5,000 from May 31st 2021, so you will only be able to recover your legal costs from the other side if your claim is valued at more than this amount.

The new limit will apply to motorists and not other road users, such as cyclists, pedestrians and motorcyclists.

This is a big change to the claims process, and we’re concerned that not enough has been done to let consumers know about these changes.

So it remains to be seen what effect this will have and whether members of the public will see any benefit from the reforms.

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What Does this Change Mean for Me?

If you suffered from whiplash due to a road accident on or after May 31st 2021, and your symptoms last less than two years, then the damages that you could previously have expected will have been slashed - and to further compound this, you won’t be able to recover your legal fees.

A new Portal has been put in place called Official Injury Claim, and it’s proposed that on cases worth less than £5,000, that injured people should be able to submit their claims by themselves.

But consumers have not been advised of all these changes. This is a huge step and it is very difficult to predict how things will eventually pan out.

The whiplash reforms were announced originally with a view to reducing claims and providing savings to consumers.

These proposed savings have since dwindled down from £90 to a much more paltry figure of about £15. But with claim numbers falling by 19% in 2020, and premiums down just 1%, it will be interesting to see just how much of the savings will be actually passed onto consumers.

The importance of getting the help of a specialist Road Traffic Accident Solicitor also can’t be understated, so we hope these reforms don’t lead to fewer people getting access to justice and the support they need in the aftermath of a road accident.

For free legal advice call our Road Traffic Accident Solicitors

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