The Government has demonstrated its commitment to reforms to the personal injury sector by introducing its Civil Liability Bill.
The measures are broadly in line with what has been debated for some time. This includes fixed damages for whiplash claims and barring whiplash claims without medical evidence.
The Bill also includes a new mechanism for reviewing the discount rate used to assess damages in personal injury claims. The rate will be assessed with reference to ‘low risk’ rather than ‘very low risk’ investments, this representing the return that can be expected on damages when invested. Any lump sum is adjusted accordingly and with the new calculation it is expected personal injury awards will be adjusted taking into account the more realistic return on their investment claimants can expect to recover.
Whilst not dealt with in the present Bill, further reform is expected including an increase to the small claims limit for all personal injury claims from £1,000 to £5,000, again reducing the number of claims where legal costs are recoverable.