Did you know that the rules surrounding personal injury whiplash claims are fundamentally changing at the end of May 2021?
This will come as a surprise to many consumers as there has been little or no information published about the changes.
Do you think that the changes will benefit the injured consumer or the insurance companies?
Let’s start with the paltry level of damages awarded under the new tariffs. For a 3-month whiplash injury the new award will be around £250. That compares to awards under the current rules of around £2500 per claim.
From June onwards, the injured persons from a road accident will be able to submit their own claims through a new portal without the need of a lawyer. So, essentially going direct and managing their own claim without the expertise guidance of a personal injury lawyer.
This direct approach will raise some issues. Like, will injured people want to run their own claim and navigate through a portal? The new portal is only for claims worth less than £5000 – so how is an unrepresented claimant going to know if their claim is worth more than £5000?
For example, if an injured person suffers tinnitus following a road traffic accident, the award for compensation can exceed £5000. However, would an unrepresented claimant even consider that the ringing in their ears might be linked to the accident they have just had? From our experience tinnitus after an accident is very common and something that we specialise in.
Unrepresented claimants will also have to obtain their own medical reports as part of the new process, something which up until now, the lawyer has always taken care of.
The injured person, without representation, will have a choice to make about how to progress the claim. In our experience, the claimant will often push ahead for a quick pay-out, which can often result in under settlement.
In addition, if the injured person faces an offer that they don’t accept they can push ahead to issue court proceedings. But how many people will want to take this daunting step?
We suspect that most claimants will simply walk away from the process.
Our Customer First Approach to Whiplash Claims
To summarise, the new rules expect a claimant to manage a claim directly themselves, obtain their own medical reports, perhaps take a settlement under the value of what they are entitled to and in some cases even start court proceedings.
Many predict that lawyers will distance themselves from this market, but here at JK Lawyers we intend to carry on helping those injured through no fault of their own and recover maximum compensation.
We have over 25-years of experience managing road accident claims and we offer a complete service after an accident. For example, we recover your vehicle, we arrange for it to be repaired and organise a hire vehicle.
Give us a call or complete a form for us to call you at your convenience to discuss this further.