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ChangesFriday 25 November 2016

Changes to Small Claims limits mean specialists like Oxford Accident Solicitors are even more essential if you are the victim of an accident.

In recent years governments of all persuasions have swallowed the insurance industry’s argument that Britain is developing a ‘compensation culture’. Cue images of ‘ambulance chasers’ and apocryphal tales of US levels of litigation from Justice Secretary Liz Truss. The fact that the number of accidents in the UK is lower than 10 years ago is totally ignored.

Sadly, the end result of relentless lobbying by powerful insurance companies is that it just got harder for genuine victims of accidents – on the road, at work or personal injury - to claim the compensation they deserve.

To give just one example, as the government pursues its own agenda when it comes to justice for people with injuries, making a claim following a car accident is about to get more difficult. However, it will still be possible to make a successful claim if you have the right kind of legal support in your corner.

At Oxford Accident Solicitors we have been helping the victims of ‘no fault’ accidents with their claims for over 20 years. Some legal firms will not be straightforward with their clients about the government’s changes to small claims limits, but we have always prided ourselves on giving realistic expert advice. That will not change, and we will continue to be upfront and clear with clients about perspective or ongoing claims.

Liz Truss has talked about the cost of insurance claims being a burden on “law-abiding motorists”. However, she fails to mention the fact that it is precisely law-abiding motorists who deserve a fair deal from small claims when they are victims of accidents. The government also states that leading insurance firms have pledged to pass on 100% of savings to consumers, though given the fact there is no legal way of enforcing this pledge, the words Brexit and Marmite spring to mind!

Potential effects of Small Claims changes in 2017

  1. Road traffic accidents (RTA) would be targeted and damages for soft-tissue injury claims either scrapped or reduced. Minor injuries would be classed as lasting either up to six or nine months. Minor injuries would receive £400 damages plus £25 for psychological impact.
  2. Damages for injuries lasting longer than six or nine months should be graded and fixed according to duration. RTA Injuries lasting 19-24 months will have a £3,600 tariff.
  3. The small claims limit will rise to at least £5,000. The government’s preferred option is to apply to this to all personal injury claims. A figure above £5,000 is not ruled out.
  4. Insurance companies would not pay a penny towards victims taking legal advice but may still have to pay for medical reports.
  5. Quick deals that make economic sense (pre-medical offers to settle) would be banned.

Oxford Accident Solicitors have been helping local families with compensation claims for over 20 years. If the worst does happen and you need to make a claim, we will work hard on your behalf to ensure that you get the compensation you need and are entitled to.

If you have been injured, speak to a specialist solicitor. The advice above should help your claim proceed with ease. Call OAS today on 01865 315309.

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