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Small claims limit increase

By March 1, 2016January 29th, 2021Litigation

Chancellor George Osborne proposed in November that the small claims limit should rise for personal injury claims from £1,000 to £5,000 – effectively removing lawyers from the process altogether.

But the policy was packaged on the basis that motor insurance premiums would come down, as insurers would pass on savings on legal costs, suggesting just RTA claims may be affected.

They will also consider the likelihood of more litigants in person taking up more court time, but the MoJ said many claims are unlikely to run at all if the right to claim compensation for minor whiplash is removed.

The MoJ, which last month received assurances from the insurance industry that 100% of savings would be passed onto consumers, said it used ‘industry sources’ and government data to find figures for fraud, although these may still be revised.

This has been, and still is, the main talking point for Personal Injury firms since George Osbourne’s proposal to increase the personal injury claims limit to £5,000. But how will the proposed changes impact the Claimants access to justice when injured through no fault of their own?Though it is unlikely any changes will come into force until 2017 at the earliest I for one am not sold that Motor Insurers will pass savings from the proposed reforms onto consumers. We have been here before (have we not) when the Competition Committee investigated the cost of Private Motor Insurance. Those figures did not add up and the saving to the average consumer was no more than the price of a pint. Hopefully a decision will not be based on ill based facts and figures with Claimants unable to get access to justice.

Alison Rocca

Author Alison Rocca

Alison is a solicitor in our Litigation department.

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