The government’s proposal for a new Civil Liability Bill, which aims to reduce the levels of compensation available for victims of road traffic accidents suffering whiplash injuries, has been met with strong resistance in the House of Lords.
The Civil Liability Bill aims to provide fixed levels of compensation to victims of road traffic accidents suffering from whiplash injuries based upon the length of duration of their injury. The proposals only relate to victims of road traffic accidents and individuals that suffer injuries as a result of other accidents, including accidents at work and slips and trips, will not be affected.
The proposals were recently debated in the House of Lords where members raised concerns about them and the people they are likely to affect. They were keen to ensure that if the Civil Liability Bill does come into force it should not apply to vulnerable victims such as cyclists, pedestrians and horse riders.
Another criticism of the Bill by the House of Lords was the reduction in the levels of compensation available for victims of road traffic accidents suffering whiplash injuries. An award under the new Bill will be below the levels of compensation typically available for victims suffering from whiplash injuries under the current guidelines. Those awards will be based upon the length of duration of symptoms arising from the accident rather than the level of pain and suffering experienced by an individual over that period.
These criticisms mirror concerns raised by the Law Society, the governing body for lawyers. The Law Society has asked for the involvement of medical professionals in providing a definition of whiplash and has said that a definition should be included within any finalised legislation.
At Jordans Solicitors we agree with the criticisms of the Civil Liability Bill raised by the House of Lords and the Law Society. We believe you should recover the level of compensation you deserve taking into account the injuries you have suffered, the length of time they continued and how they impacted upon your daily life. We understand that every person is different and work with you to understand the effect an accident has had on you personally and to make sure we claim that full effect from the person at fault.
As part of the process of making a successful claim for compensation following a road traffic accident, it is necessary to obtain a report from an expert medical professional. That expert will comment upon the injuries suffered and the length of duration of any injuries and, where recovery is not yet complete, will provide a prognosis of when symptoms should resolve. If the suggested reforms are made into legislation, medical professionals are the experts who will make a diagnosis of whiplash in a claim for personal injury and we believe that it is only right that they provide some guidance about what is categorised as a whiplash injury.
If you have been involved in a road traffic collision or other accident which was not your fault here at Jordans Solicitors we have a specialist personal injury team who are experienced in providing advice on a wide range of accidents and injuries. We will work with you to ensure you receive the compensation you deserve for your injuries. If you would like to speak with a member of our Personal Injury team to find out how we can help you please call 01924 457 171 or request a callback