George Osborne’s Autumn Statement delivered a surprise for accident victims and their representatives. He announced an increase in the Small Claims Limit for damages for pain suffering and loss of amenity from £1000 to £5000 for all claims. There would be no compensation whatsoever for “minor soft tissue injuries”. As the vast majority of all accidents attract damages for pain suffering and loss of amenity below £5000, victims will lose and insurers will cash in.
The consequences for clients are nothing short of disastrous. If these proposals had been implemented last year, up to 95% of the 759,763 road traffic accident victims in 2014 who were awarded compensation would have been unable to claim for their injuries at all.
Also last year, there were 208,310 claims by those injured at work, through public liability or the fault of occupiers. Up to 85% would have been forced to bring their claims in the Small Claims Court, facing a stark choice. Take on the insurance company alone without a lawyer, or pay the whole of their legal costs from any compensation awarded.
Dedicated Accident Solicitors support the Access to Justice Action Group’s campaign against these changes – and you can too, by writing to your MP to express your opposition. Read more on the AJAG website and use the template letter they have suggested. Your support will help.