Kerry Underwood


with 2 comments

Personal injury reforms, including the whiplash Injury tariff scheme for injuries lasting two years or less,  are to go ahead, assuming the government is not defeated and brought down over the Queen’s Speech.


The Queen’s Speech, delivered to Parliament today, laid out proposals for a Civil Liability Bill which will introduce the tariff system and also ban pre-medical offers. These are the proposals which were in the Prisons and Courts Bill.


That Bill was lost as a result of the dissolution of Parliament following the calling of the General Election but it had already received an unopposed Second Reading in the House of Commons on 20 March 2017.


Albeit that the government fell short of obtaining an overall majority, it received the largest number of votes and seats and therefore is unlikely to face significant opposition in the House of Lords in relation to a policy unopposed in the House of Commons and endorsed by the electorate at a General Election.


As the government has now stripped out the issue of compensation for personal injury claims and put it into a separate Civil Liability Bill, rather than it being half a dozen clauses of the very long Prisons and Courts Bill, it makes it more likely that this much shorter and simpler Bill will get through Parliament quickly.


This session of Parliament will last two years but there is no reason to think that these reforms will be delayed beyond the original proposed date of 1 October 2018.


Indeed the latter part of this session of Parliament is likely to be devoted almost entirely to issues arising out of Brexit, and therefore this legislation is likely to go through Parliament sooner, rather than later.


As provided for the original Prisons and Courts Bill, the detail of the Whiplash Tariff will be in Regulations made by Statutory Instrument, but again there is no suggestion that they will be any different from those previously proposed.


It is still planned that the increase in the small claims limit for road traffic matters be increased from £1,000.00 to £5,000.00 on 1 October 2018 and for all other personal injury matters the limit be increased from £1,000.00 to £2,000.00.


Next month we will see the publication of Lord Justice Jackson’s report on extending fixed recoverable costs and on 20 June 2017 it was announced that the commencement of the Pilot Scheme in relation to claims up to £250,000.00 was “imminent” but will apply only to cases where the trial is two days or less.


Again it is proposed that the full extension of fixed recoverable costs be implemented on 1 October 2018, but the upper value may well be £100,000.00, rather than £250,000.00.


I deal with all of these issues in detail on my Personal Injury Reforms course. There are three left, in Manchester, Liverpool and Cardiff and they can be booked here.


I also deal with all of these matters in my new book Personal Injury Small Claims, Portals and Fixed Costs, which runs to 3 volumes and over 1,300 pages and costs £80.00 and can be ordered from me here, or from Amazon here.


Written by kerryunderwood

June 21, 2017 at 12:45 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

2 Responses

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  1. The main issue I have with fixed recoverable costs is the fact that in some cases they restrict a patients’ access to specialist legal advice, often at a time when it is most needed. Not only that, I feel that attributing a fixed system for such a complex legal case, particularly medical negligence does not necessarily work.

    Dave Kingston

    September 21, 2017 at 11:25 am

    • I disagree, as will be apparent from my other blogs and my book. The realistic alternative is the complete abolition of recovery of costs in clinical negligence, as is the case in virtually every other jurisdiction in the world.



      September 21, 2017 at 6:12 pm

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