John McGuin­ness col­umn

MCN - - CONTENTS - An­drew Camp­bell Solic­i­tor and au­thor of the MCN Law col­umn for the last ten years Visit www.bikelawyer.co.uk or email an­drew@bikelawyer.co.uk or call 01446 794169 Mo­tor­cy­cle Ac­ci­dent So­lic­i­tors

‘The law will cap pay­outs for mi­nor whiplash’

QWill my wife still get her whiplash com­pen­sa­tion?

I heard on the news that there are changes com­ing in to lower com­pen­sa­tion for in­juries in road traf­fic ac­ci­dents. My wife was on her bike a cou­ple of weeks ago and got rear-ended while wait­ing at traf­fic lights. She’s go­ing through a claim for whiplash as a re­sult. Will the change in the law wreck her chances of get­ting a pay­out? An­drew Reed, email

AThis is to do with the Gov­ern­ment crack­ing down on a per­ceived ‘com­pen­sa­tion cul­ture’ – when in fact the Gov­ern­ment are wrong about there be­ing a ‘cul­ture’ be­cause their own of­fi­cial fig­ures show the big­gest sources of cases, mo­tor claims, fell by 17% this year to around 650,000. It was the fifth year-on-year fall. The leg­is­la­tion it­self is still in draft for­mat, but is ex­pected to come into force in 2019. It will cap the amount some­one can claim for a mi­nor whiplash in­jury. This will re­duce the av­er­age whiplash pay out from £1850 to a max­i­mum amount of £425. It will also ban in­sur­ance com­pa­nies from set­tling claims be­fore a med­i­cal re­port is ob­tained, known as a ‘pre-med set­tle­ment’.

The good news for bik­ers is the draft leg­is­la­tion ex­cludes them from the whiplash re­form. Your wife (and any­one in­jured be­fore the leg­is­la­tion is im­ple­mented) will fall un­der the cur­rent rules, so she will re­ceive more com­pen­sa­tion than some­one in­jured later.

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