Countdown to April 2019: whiplash reforms incoming

Countdown to April 2019: whiplash reforms incoming

21st February 2018

The Government has confirmed a ‘start’ date for the personal injury sector reforms that will change the way people can make claims for whiplash injuries.

The so-called Whiplash Reforms – actually the Soft Tissue Injury Reforms – will begin to take effect in April 2019, it has been confirmed.

It is likely to be a staged introduction, with the elements of the reforms that directly relate to Road Traffic accidents (RTAs) taking effect first. Reform for other types of personal injury will come in at a later date.

This introduction date has been confirmed before it is fully understood exactly what the reforms will look like. The Civil Liabilities Bill, announced by the Queen last summer and which covers the Whiplash Reforms, has yet to be published.

Strong resistance from the legal sector will remain. Simon Stanfield, chairman of the Motor Accident Solicitors Society (MASS), said: MASS chair Simon Stanfield said: “MASS shall continue to fight the proposed changes to RTA whiplash claims at every opportunity – but if Parliament approves the plans and they do proceed, there are still huge questions about how it would be implemented, operated and how the worst consequences can be limited.

“There is an enormous amount for the government to sort out if it is to hit its April 2019 target date.”

APIL president Brett Dixon said: “Ministers have at least taken on board our arguments about the importance of introducing any changes in stages and not leaping ahead to include employers’ liability and public liability claims.

“That the reforms will go ahead at all is, of course, unwelcome news to injured people, but APIL will use its seat at the table to help to safeguard access to justice for injured people as far as possible. There is still a lot of work to do in the next 14 months.”