Industry Updates, Thought Leadership

Whiplash Reforms Come into Force across England and Wales

2 minutes

First4Lawyers, May 31, 2021

From today, the Whiplash Reform Programme comes into force across England and Wales. The programme will change the way a person injured in a road traffic accident (RTA) can claim compensation. These changes aim to tackle a supposed ‘whiplash’ culture.

First4Lawyers has long campaigned against the unfairness of these changes on injured people. In response to the implementation of the programme, Qamar Anwar, managing director of First4Lawyers says:

“This is a sad day for justice. The lack of compassion and common sense shown by the government with the introduction of this programme beggars’ belief.

“All available data shows that the supposed whiplash culture is a fiction, yet the government has ploughed on regardless.

“While the government might sell these reforms as an opportunity for claimants to settle their claims quickly and without the need for court, the reality is quite different. The introduction of a do-it-yourself online portal for claims worth up to £5,000 has been accompanied by a snappy 64-page user guide.

“How many claimants do they think will sift through 64 pages to guide them through their claim? Worse still, how will claimants know if their claim is worth more or less than £5,000?

“And let’s not forget the new portal go-live date comes on a bank holiday, when it appears that the call centre to support injured claimants won’t even be open. Only this government could launch such a fundamental change to consumer rights, and then have no one on hand to assist claimants with what are going to be at best, teething problems. The portal has already had number of technical difficulties for professional users, so it doesn’t bode well for claimants.

“These reforms benefit the insurers, who have, once again, used their vast profits to lobby hard and have been rewarded with a system whereby they can both save money and increase profits at the expense of the pain and suffering of innocent injury victims. I doubt very much that any of us will see the £35 savings promised to every motorist by insurers as a result of these changes.”

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