The Ministry of Justice (MoJ) recently announced that the implementation of the whiplash reforms will be postponed from 6th April 2020 to 1st August 2020.
As speculated, Rt Hon Robert Buckland confirmed that the Government requires more time to ensure the Whiplash Reform Programme is ready for implementation. As a result, the measures will not be introduced in April 2020, as previously intended.
In a written statement, Lord Chancellor Robert Buckland confirmed that claims by vulnerable road users, as well as children and protected parties, would not be covered by the new regime and they would be able to process claims via the fast-track method.
In the statement Buckland also confirmed:
- Alternative Dispute Resolution will no longer be part of the Official Injury Claim Service. ADR would have allowed liability and quantum claims to be adjudicated. However, a practicable solution could not be found and consequently the government confirms that access to justice will be ensured by “developing bespoke processes to enable litigants to go to court to establish liability”.
- The increase in the small claims track limit will not apply to “vulnerable road-users”, e.g. motorcyclists, cyclists and pedestrians, such users will also not be subject to the whiplash tariff provisions. The increase in the small claims track limit will not apply to children or protected parties.
- The new Official Injury Claim Service will provide a “simple, user-friendly and efficient online route” for those bringing claims following road traffic accidents which will allow users to settle small claims for personal injury without the need for legal representation or to go to court.
- There will be a customer contact centre which will be available to support customers “throughout the journey”.
At this time, the new date is set to be 1 st August 2020. Mr Buckland states that “Delivering these reforms remains a key Government priority”. At this point the compensation tariff has still yet to go through Parliament, as well as several outstanding policy issues that are to be resolved.
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