We learned on Tuesday that Prime Minister Theresa May is calling a snap general election on the 8th June. This could spark an enormous shakeup regarding the whiplash reforms.
Passing the reforms
Back in February, the consultation on soft tissue injury claims came to an end. Following the consultation, came proposals to introduce the reforms. From October 2018, soft tissue injuries where the value is under £5,000 will be thrown out of the small claims court. The move will also see the previous £1,000 small claims limit rise to £2,000 for all other injury types. This is a huge hammer blow to claimants.
The announcement of the general election, however, may put these proposals on hold. With political parties focusing on campaigning, it is possible that the bill will not have time to pass through parliament before the General Election.
The government and opposition must now prioritise certain bills to see them through parliament before June 7th. It is possible this will include the whiplash reforms, but at present there is no announcement on this.
Currently the reforms are at a stage that requires a commons committee consultation (ending 27th April). Following this there will be a full house report. From there amendments it is possible for the need for amendments before a third reading and short debate. It will then pass through the House of Lords (ironing out any disagreements with the commons) before it can attain royal assent.
This places a tight schedule if the government are to pus the reforms through. If then the government does not see it as high priority, there could be a heavy impact on the timeline of reform. If this happens, claimants could potentially still access affordable legal assistance after October 2018.
The legal industry has fought tooth and nail for some time to try and combat the reforms. It is obvious they will harm victims with legitimate injuries, leaving them out of pocket and suffering at the hands of other people’s negligence. While reform may not be permanently on hold, some respite past October 2018 will be welcome news to injury sufferers.
With reform in limbo until further notice, victims will still be able to claims for any injuries they may suffer. If you or a family member require assistance to overcome an injury, then Scott Rees & Co has a reliable network available to help you.
With 25 years of experience we have all the specialists needed to assist with the recovery of any injury. For free advice and consultation, call one of our team on 01695 722 222 or visit our claim page to start you claim today.