The proposals as they stand will severely damage the ability for road users to bring personal injury claims for accidents suffered through no fault of their own.
Responding to the news that the government may be willing to consider dropping Vulnerable Road Users from the scope of the Civil Liability Bill and associated changes to the Small Claims Limit, Tom Jones, head of policy at Thompson Solicitors comments:
“The government may be slowly realising that there is no justification for sweeping Vulnerable Road Users like pedestrians and cyclists into their reforms when the stated target of the Civil Liability Bill is whiplash. We hope that it can listen to the evidence and concede on this issue when bill amendments are considered at Committee Stage. It should also concede that the inclusion of people injured at work is equally unjustified.
“The proposals to raise the Small Claims Limit to £2,000 for all injured people including those injured at work, and to £5,000 for those involved in road accidents, have been hidden by the Government. They are not on the face of the Bill and would be made by Statutory Instrument, avoiding any real parliamentary scrutiny.
The small claims changes would devastate access to justice for up to 500,000 injured people a year.
Tom Jones Head of Policy
“The small claims changes certainly deliver financially for insurers (to the tune of £1.3bn a year) but given their unfairness, their lack of inflationary justification and their negative impact on ordinary people injured through no fault of their own, you would have thought they were politically embarrassing for the government.
“The only possible justifiable increase would be to £1,500 – based on the favoured and more robust RPI measure of inflation from 1999, the last time when the Small Claims Limit changed.
“The small claims changes would devastate access to justice for up to 500,000 injured people a year. The only people to gain would be the insurers who, having already saved £11bn in the last five years, are reporting record profits and demanding higher motor insurance premiums than ever before.”
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