The Civil Liabilities BillMar 20th, 2018
We received the following update from the Ministry of Justice with regards to the proposed Bill this morning:
I am writing to let you know that Lord Keen will today introduce the Civil Liability Bill into the House of Lords. This Bill will make important changes to two areas of the personal injury compensation system in England and Wales.
The Bill introduces measures to tackle the continuing high number and cost of whiplash claims, whilst ensuring genuinely injured claimants continue to receive a proportionate amount of compensation.The Bill also makes changes to the way the personal injury discount rate is set, aiming to ensure claimants get full and fair compensation to meet their expected needs.
The Bill follows previous government reforms to remove costs from the civil justice system and ban referral fees in personal injury claims.It also builds on current action to ban cold-calling including personal injury claims and to strengthen the regulatory regime for claims management companies in the Financial Guidance and Claims Bill, which is currently before Parliament.
The Whiplash measures in the Bill will:
-provide for a tariff of compensation for pain, suffering and loss of amenity for whiplash claims as defined in the Bill.The final tariff figures will be set in supporting regulations to be debated via the affirmative procedure by Parliament following Royal Assent;
-introduce a regulatory ban on seeking or offering to settle whiplash claims without medical evidence; and
-provide for the Judiciary to increase the compensation payable for pain, suffering and loss of amenity by up to a certain amount in exceptional circumstances.The cap for exceptional payments would be set in supporting regulations.
The discount rate measures in the Bill will:
-support the 100% compensation principle; modernise the way the discount rate is set so that it reflects the reality of how claimants actually invest their money;
-put the process of setting the rate on a clearer statutory footing, with a requirement for the Lord Chancellor to review it at least every 3 years, giving clarity and assurance to claimants and to those who underwrite the costs; and
-create an independent expert panel to advise the Lord Chancellor in order to help ensure that the rate is set fairly and transparently in future. The regular setting of the rate will make sure that vulnerable people who have had life-changing accidents have their compensation adjusted by an up to date rate.
Copies of the Bill will be available to download from the Parliament website from Wednesday 21 March 2018.
The Government’s response to the Justice Select Committee’s pre-legislative scrutiny of the discount rate measures will also be published today on Gov.uk.
Clearly, we will understand more once these documents have been piblished.