Brexit – The Saviour of Road Traffic Accident Whiplash Claims…For Now

Road Traffic Accident Claims – Dickinson Parker Hill, Ormskirk

In 2017 the Government began its journey of trying to introduce the Civil Liability Bill. This piece of legislation, partially came in to force in December 2018 as the Civil Liability Act 2018, with disputed parts of the Act remaining in limbo thanks to the continuing negotiations regarding the UK’s departure from the EU.

So what does this mean for people involved in road traffic accidents? Currently, an individual has the ability to approach almost any litigation solicitor for assistance in making a claim for damages related to the injuries they have sustained as a result of their innocent involvement in a road traffic accident. This is because, most of these solicitors can currently offer a ‘no-win, no- fee’ funding arrangement to ensure their clients do not need to pay any legal fees up front. This is down to the fact that, generally, most people suffer whiplash type injuries in these accidents, the value of which is generally expected to exceed £1,000. If a current claim involving whiplash attains or exceeds this figure the solicitor gets paid fixed costs from the at fault driver’s insurer and the process is financially viable for the solicitor and for their client.

Under the new Civil Liability Act, these provisions are set to change. A party suffering from whiplash injuries has to establish that their injuries are so severe that they would attain or exceed a value of £5,000 before their solicitor can receive their fixed cost legal fees from the at fault driver’s insurer. This is, by in large, an unrealistic outcome for the bulk of these claims and as such the vast majority of solicitors helping these clients will no longer be able to offer them the benefit of a ‘no-win, no-fee’ agreement and will instead be paid privately by their clients – an often expensive exercise.

Currently, the unacted parts of the Civil Liability Act seem to have been pushed to the back of the Government’s agenda given the ongoing issues relating to Brexit. We are not sure when the remainder of the Act will become law and we see no current stance for the changes to be applied retrospectively to claims already ongoing. In essence, if you were injured in a road traffic accident in the last 3 years and it was not your fault – act immediately to make a claim for the compensation you are entitled to.

We can offer a ‘no win, no-fee’ agreement to anyone who was injured in a road traffic accident as above so please contact our specialist litigation Solicitor, Sam Seagraves on 01695 574 201 to discuss your options today.