Whiplash Reform Update

The UK has the highest whiplash costs in Europe and 20% of every motor insurance premium is made up of payments for whiplash. Following the Ministry of Justice’s response to its consultation on whiplash reform, published on 23 October 2014, the first phase of reform has been completed and work on the second phase has begun.

The first phase made changes to the Civil Procedure Rules which came into force on 1 October 2014. This introduced a number of important reforms such as:

  • Fixing the cost of obtaining an initial medical report about whiplash claims to £180;

  • Setting an expectation that medical evidence will be limited to a single report unless a clear case is made otherwise;

  • Discouraging insurers from settling whiplash claims without a medical report confirming the claimant’s injury;

  • Prohibiting the reporting expert from also treating the claimant; and

  • Allowing defendants to give their account of the incident directly to the medical expert.

The second phase of reform commenced on 4 September 2014 with the launch of a further consultation, the results of which were published on 2 December 2014. This will introduce a new system for obtaining initial medical reports. In addition, from April 2015 medico-legal experts will need to be registered with MedCo in order to provide initial Medico legal reports for road traffic act soft tissue claims.

For the full information bulletin, including how this will impact you, please click here...