Kerry Underwood


with 6 comments

I deal with this subject in detail in my forthcoming book – Personal Injury Small Claims, Portals and Fixed Costs available from Amazon here.

This is the third of my pieces analysing the proposals in the Ministry of Justice consultation paper – Reforming the Soft Tissue Injury (Whiplash) Claims Process which can be accessed and responded to here.

The consultation ends on 6 January 2017 at 5.30pm.

Part 3 – Introduction of a Fixed Tariff System for other RTA Related Soft Tissue Injury Claims – is at pages 20 to 23 of the report.

The proposal is for a fixed – not capped – sum for each of six bands, the lowest being the 0 – 6 months band discussed in detail in my post – SOFT TISSUE INJURIES: CONSULTATION IN DETAIL and the highest being for 19 – 24 months duration whiplash injuries.

In each case the extra element for psychological injury is trivial, ranging from £25.00 in the lowest band to £100.00 in the highest band.

The proposals are:-

New Tariff Amounts


New tariff amount Psych damages awarded Tariff with psych
0–6 months £400 £25 £425
7–9 months £700 £40 £740
10–12 months £1,100 £50 £1,150
13–15 months £1,700 £60 £1,760
16–18 months £2,500 £75 £2,575
19–24 months £3,500 £100 £3,600

Thus psychological injuries are valued at 13.7 pence per day.

To give some idea of how these tariffs compare with the current guidelines I set out below the tariff proposals, together with the current Judicial College Guidelines (12th Edition).

Injury Duration Judicial college guidelines amounts

(12th edition)

New Tariff amounts
0–6 months £200 to £3,520 £400
7–9 months £1,705 to £3,520 £700
10–12 months £1,705 to £3,520 £1,100
13–15 months £1,705 to £6,380 £1,700
16–18 months £1,705 to £6,380 £2,500
19–24 months £1,705 to £6,380 £3,500

The Government is also consulting on whether, in exceptional cases – undefined – the court should have power to increase these figures by up to 20% for injuries lasting more than six months.

All of these proposed changes require an Act of Parliament and will be in the same legislation restricting or scrapping general damages for RTA related soft tissue injuries lasting six months or less.

The proposal to ban pre-medical offers will also be in that Bill.

Under these proposals the maximum award for general damages would be £3,600.00. If a 20% exceptional circumstances addition is allowed the maximum goes up to £4,320.00, that is a small claim under the proposed reforms.

For the matter not to be a small claim, special damages would need to take the total claim over £10,000.00 – the general civil small claims limit.

Thus for RTA related soft tissue injuries of up to 24 months the small claim limit will, in reality, be £10,000.00.

The questions in relation to this section are:-

“Question 11: The tariff figures have been developed to meet the government’s objectives. Do you agree with the figures provided?


Please explain your reasons why along with any suggested figures and detail on how they were reached.


Question 12: Should the circumstances where a discretionary uplift can be applied be contained within legislation or should the Judiciary be able to apply a discretionary uplift of up to 20% to the fixed compensation payments in exceptional circumstances?


Please explain your reasons why, along with what circumstances you might consider to be exceptional.”


A reminder that the consultation ends on 6 January 2017 at 5.30pm. The link to the paper is above.

Please see my related blogs:-





Written by kerryunderwood

November 22, 2016 at 8:45 am

Posted in Uncategorized

6 Responses

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  1. If you suffered Page v Smith psych injury plus minor soft tissue damage (say 0-6 months) would it be better to not claim the soft tissue element of claim and just go on psych? (Assuming the tariff comes from the soft tissue claim)


    November 22, 2016 at 9:03 am

    • Robert

      We await the response to the consultation. However it would appear that the situation that you describe would not be a soft tissue injury within the definition in paragraph 16 (A) of the RTA portal:

      ” A claim brought by an occupant of a motor vehicle where the significant physical injury caused is a soft tissue injury and includes claims where there is a minor psychological injury second in significance to the physical injury.”

      The government has announced that it intends to keep that definition.

      That does open up the possibility of getting full recovery for the physical injuries where the psychological injury is the main, not second one.



      December 7, 2016 at 8:07 am

  2. Kerry,

    I assume you have noticed reference to the 12th Edition of the JC guidelines throughout the consultation, rather than the up to date edition released as long ago as Oct 2015 (13th edition). Looks like these plans were put in writing before Osbourne’s speech. The contrast is even greater when comparing the 13th edition and applying inflation.


    Richard Meggitt
    Solicitor / Director
    Accident Solicitors Direct Ltd

    Tel: 0114 2672470 Fax: 0114 2662180

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    Richard Meggitt

    November 22, 2016 at 9:04 am

    • Many thanks- been tweeting about it. Press have asked MOJ for comment. Remind me of your twitter details so that I can publicly Hat Tip you.


      November 22, 2016 at 3:45 pm

  3. Yes, both a fundamental flaw and an indication as to how long this proposal has been under consideration for.

    Bryan Patterson-Whitaker
    Parklane Plowden

    Bryan Patterson-Whitaker

    November 22, 2016 at 9:41 am

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