The government shelved plans for further reform in March 2022.
In February 2023, the Justice Committee announced an inquiry on the impact of the changes, and whether the reforms are on track to successfully reduce insurance premiums for motorists, while ensuring injured claimants can still access justice.
This page covers:
- what the changes mean for claimants and solicitors
- using the online claims portal
- what we've been doing
The changes affect the amount of compensation claimants receive and include:
- tariffs for whiplash injuries that last up to two years from RTAs
- the small claims limit increasing from £1,000 to £5,000 for RTAs not involving vulnerable road-users such as pedestrians, cyclists, motorcyclists and horse riders
- a new online portal called the Official Injury Claim service
Claims for children will not have to go through the Official Injury Claim service. Usually, these claims will be fast tracked, regardless of the value of the claim.
The reforms are partly the result of the Civil Liability Act 2018. The regulations underpinning these reforms include:
There is also a Pre-action Protocol for personal injury claims below the small claims limit in RTAs.
The small claims limit increase, along with new tariffs, will lead to more cases being processed as small claims.
Claimants are therefore unlikely to be able to recover their legal costs. For many, the only option may be to use the Official Injury Claim portal and in some cases represent themselves in court. The MoJ has published a guide on making a claim, for people without representation.
More personal injury cases will be treated as small claims. Claimants may decide not to be represented by a solicitor, as they will not be able to recover their costs.
Some firms working in low-value personal injury RTA claims may struggle to stay in the market.
Solicitors working in this area may benefit from revising their business models to adapt to the changes.
If you represent claimants for claims under £10,000, your organisation needs to register on the online portal.
The Official Injury Claim service is for personal injury claims worth less than £5,000 or £10,000 collectively.
Claims that go over the £10,000 limit will need to be managed outside the portal.
The Motor Insurers’ Bureau runs the portal and has made toolkits to support those using the service, including an overview for claims professionals and specific guides on:
- making a claim
- changes to the small claims limit for injury claims (referring to Part 26 of the Civil Procedure Rules)
- Practice Direction 27B
You can also watch video walkthroughs:
- making a claim as a claimant representative (32 minutes)
- exceptions: challenging decisions and taking claims through to court (54 minutes)