Small claims limit increase to hit 140,000 non-motor cases

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22 November 2016

National Accident Helpline200Analysis by National Accident Helpline shows more than 800,000 claims will be affected each year.

Government plans to increase the small claims limit to £5,000 for all personal injury claims will impact more than 140,000 non-whiplash related cases, such as injuries sustained at work or through other forms of negligence, despite having no clear link to fraud. That’s according to National Accident Helpline, the UK’s leading provider of personal injury advice.

Analysis based on Compensation Recovery Unit (CRU) data by National Accident Helpline also showed that a five-fold increase to the small claims limit to £5,000 will affect a total of over 800,000 claims annually.

The CRU statistics show that a significant proportion of non-whiplash claims would fall within the proposed small claims limit, with 83% of public liability and 78% of employers’ liability cases set to be captured by the change.

The figures lay bare the unintended consequences of the plans on non-RTA claims, which the Government has itself acknowledged have not been targeted by fraudsters[1]. NAH is warning that the changes will have a damaging impact on genuine claimants and is calling on the Government to reconsider the proposals.

 Commenting on the findings, managing director of National Accident Helpline, Simon Trott, said:

“We support any measures that will help to cut down fraudulent activity. The government’s intention to raise the small claims limit for all claims, irrespective of their relationship with fraud, demonstrates that whiplash is simply being used as a means of diverting attention away from a broader attack on the rights of injured people.”

“These plans will cause severe harm to access to justice and leave injured people to fight complex cases against well-armed insurers with no legal assistance whatsoever. We urge the government to reconsider the increase and ensure the rights of genuinely injured claimants are protected.”

The findings come against the backdrop of growing concern regarding the rights of employees. The number of employment tribunal claims registered each month fell from 16,000 in 2012-13 to just 7,000 in 2015-16 following the introduction of enhanced court fees by the coalition government.

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