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Whiplash reforms will be implemented on 31 May 2021

It has now been confirmed that reforms to whiplash claims, which have been delayed several times, will come into force in England and Wales for accidents on or after 31 May 2021.  The reforms will change the way low-value road traffic accident claims are handled, the compensation that may be awarded and the costs that may be recovered.

WhiplashFrom 31 May 2021, the changes that are contained within the Civil Liability Act 2018, will:

  • limit the right to compensation for ‘minor’ soft tissue injuries (this includes whiplash) that last for less than two years. Compensation will be paid based on whether there is any psychological injury. If there is, the scale starts at £260 for injuries lasting up to three months and rises to £4,345 for injuries lasting from 18 months to two years.  Without any psychological injury, the equivalent scale is from £240 to £4,215. In some exceptional circumstances, such as exceptionally severe whiplash or pain increased severely by the whiplash, the claimant can be awarded an uplift of up to 20% of the tariff.
  • raise the small claims limit for road traffic accident-related personal injury claims from £1,000 to £5,000 (for pain, suffering and loss). A portal has been set up, through which claimants can make their own claims in person, without legal representation.

Children, protected parties (those who lack capacity), bankrupts, cases where the defendant’s car is not registered in the UK, cases where the claimant or defendant is deceased (i.e., if they die during or after the accident) and vulnerable road users such as motorcyclists, cyclists, horse riders, pedestrians and users of mobility scooters are exempt from the provisions within the new act and the small claims limit remains , as now, £1000 for general damages.

Claimants will need to obtain a medical report before any settlement or offer can be made relating to their whiplash injury and this will be done through the designated organisation within the new portal system.


Peter Clark

Peter Clark, managing partner and head of Graysons’ personal injury department says:

“We have been waiting a long time for these reforms to be implemented and it is sad that we can now see the time when those who are injured through no fault of their own will have limited access to justice and will either have to pay for legal representation themselves or make their claim without advice and in person, due to the changes to the costs recoverability rules”.

Because of the financial implications of the so called “reforms”, Graysons will not be routinely handling low value road traffic accident-related personal injury claims where the accident is after 31 May 2021 and the major injury is whiplash. Graysons will continue to deal with claims where there are other injuries and claims on behalf of motorcyclists, cyclists, horse riders, pedestrians and users of mobility scooters and on behalf of children and claimants under a disability.

As the new limits do not come into force until the end of May 2021, we would encourage anyone who is thinking about making a claim for an accident they have already suffered to talk to our solicitors now. Our personal injury experts will have a look at your case and advise you of the best way forward.  We are all working safely and remotely and can discuss your case via telephone, video call or email and, if we can take on your case, we will offer you a no-win, no-fee arrangement. We are recommended in the Legal 500 and have won thousands of pounds in compensation for victims of road traffic and other accidents.

You have landed on this page as Watson Esam has merged with Graysons

You can read more about the merger here. Graysons will be pleased to help with your enquiry. Please visit our web pages or contact us directly on 0114 358 9009


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