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HomeLegal NewsMinistry of Justice responds on whiplash claims reform

Ministry of Justice responds on whiplash claims reform

Plans for further reform on the whiplash claims process have been dashed by the government.

The Ministry of Justice responded to the second part of the Reforming the Soft Tissue Injury Claims Process consultation, which closed more than five years ago.

The first part relates to the small claims limit for personal injury claims and to a fixed compensation tariff for RTA cases, which were implemented last May.

Part two regards issues of referrals, credit hire and rehabilitation arrangements.

The government has said it will not push on with proposals to force personal injury lawyers to identify referral sources for all claims, despite accepting a recommendation for more transparency within the system.

The majority of respondents to the whiplash consultation opposed the naming of referrers, arguing that sources were confidential and that the information could lead to insurers unfairly targeting certain companies or dismissing claims because they came from a particular source.

The whiplash consultation had asked whether QOCS provisions should be amended so a claimant needed the court’s permission to discontinue less than 28 days before trial. This was shelved after stakeholders offered no clear agreement on what should happen.

Insurers had hoped that credit hire and rehabilitation costs would be addressed by the government, but there has been no intervention. Worries had been raised that rehabilitation was being factored into all claims, regardless of whether treatment was needed. A proposed ‘voucher scheme’ to limit the number of sessions received little support.

The government says it will continue to look into the issue and support the development of an industry-wide rehabilitation code.

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