Whiplash claims to be curtailed

10th December 2015
Whiplash claims to be curtailed image

Whiplash claims to be curtailed

Introduction

In his Autumn Statement at the end of November, Chancellor George Osbourne shocked the legal world with his recommendations in the world of personal injury. The Chancellor proposed a ban on claiming general damages for “minor” soft-tissue injuries and an
increase in the small claims limit for all personal injury claims to £5,000. The ban would be effective from April 2007 with the changes to the small claims limit possibly coming in even earlier. As well as looking to reduce fraudulent claims, the apparent motivation for the proposals is that the Chancellor believes that it will save £1 billion for the insurance industry. It is claimed that the insurance industry will then pass this on to its customers by way of reduced insurance premiums.

The Proposed Ban

This would be on claiming for general damages for “minor” soft-tissue injuries. General damages are defined as compensation for pain, suffering and loss of amenity. This is likely to cover a significant amount of whiplash type claims, meaning that in such circumstances an injured claimant could only pursue a claim for special damages such as loss of earnings, medical expenses etc.

The increase in the small claims limit

Currently personal injury claims with a value of £1,000 or less for general damages are dealt within the small claims section of the County Court where there is usually a no costs rule. Hence the vast majority of claimants in such cases act without legal representation or help since the costs of such legal representation is usually not recoverable from the defendant (usually the insurer) . The Government proposes to increase the small claims limit here to £5,000, so that now even more claimants will find it harder to pursue their legal right as they will not be able to afford legal representation as there will be little prospect of recovering the costs of such representation from the defendant insurer.

Our view

Daven Naghen head of our firm’s Personal Injury department and a member of the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL) has commented as follows:-

“These proposals are so unfair. Many injured motorists will lose their right to claim compensation for their injuries and many other will have their right to make such a claim limited by the fact that they will have to go to the Small Claims Court without legal representation and face a defendant insurer who will have the benefit of full legal representation and advice.

And seriously will the Insurers pass on any savings to us all by reducing our insurance premiums? I seem to remember that the same promises were being made about 3 years ago when the Government decided that success fees should no longer be recoverable from defendants, but I personally have seen no real evidence of any decrease in insurance premiums – everyone I know says that their premiums continue to rise!

APIL will do what it can to oppose the proposed measures and I will support them as best I can.”

If you have been injured in a road traffic accident and need advice about bringing a claim for your injuries and losses then please contact Daven Naghen on 01775 722261 or email daven.naghen@maplessolicitors.com or visit our offices or make an appointment at our offices at 23 New Road, Spalding, Lincolnshire, PE11 1DH. We do offer free initial interviews when Dav is able to evaluate the merits of your claim, its possible value and whether it can be funded by some form of no win no fee agreement.


Wills During the Coronavirus Pandemic image

Wills During the Coronavirus Pandemic

We appreciate that many people will be considering making a Will and Lasting Powers of Attorney now, more than ever, in light of the Coronavirus pandemic. At Maples Solicitors we will work around those who are self-isolating and we will continue to follow Government guidance by keeping our distance from others. This does mean that we can now offer “Through your Window Wills”. We will take instructions for your Wills and Lasting Powers of Attorney via the telephone, video calls or e-mail and we can attend at your home and arrange the signing and witnessing of the documents through your window.

 

Our costs for dealing with Wills are as follows:-

Our Simple Wills service offers a comprehensive service to ensure that your wishes are carried out in the event of your death.  

If you are married or have a partner and want to make mirror Wills our cost are £360 (inclusive of VAT).

This fee is made up of:

  • Legal fee £300
  • VAT on legal fees £60

If you want to make a single Will our costs are £210 (inclusive of VAT). 

This fee is made up of:

  • Legal fee £175
  • VAT on legal fees £35

The Simple Will Service includes: 

  • Appointment of Executors
  • Provision for your funeral wishes
  • Appointment of Guardians for minor children
  • Provision for specific legacies including money and personal items to named beneficiaries
  • Basic Inheritance Tax advice
  • Advice with regard to the distribution of your residuary estate to your intended beneficiaries
  • Draft Will with full explanation in plain English sent to you in the post
  • Answering any queries you have on the draft Will
  • Face to face meeting at our offices to sign the Will with a Solicitor or Legal Executive
  • Registration with Certainty the National Wills Register 
  • Secure lifetime storage 

This service does not include: 

  • Complex inheritance tax advice and planning
  • Assets that are situated abroad
  • Property protection advice
  • Advice with regard to disinheriting family members 

If it becomes apparent additional work will be needed we will inform you of the additional work required and confirm the additional costs.

If you would like to make a “Through your Window Will” or Lasting Powers of Attorney please telephone the office on 01775 722261 or e-mail enquiries@maplessolicitors.com.

Read More

Testimonials

Jamie Dobbs SCILEx

"I should like to take this opportunity to express my very sincere and grateful thanks for Jamie's unfailing helpfulness and efficiency in all aspects of the handling of my late stepmother's estate. Jamie have always replied to my (many!) queries promptly and comprehensively which has been a enormous help throughout what I know can be a fraught and stressful process. Sadly, it is increasingly rare these days to experience the highs standards of service that Jamie has provided."

Gemma Mayer LLB

"I would highly recommend Maples Solicitors, especially Gemma Mayer, for any conveyancing work. The level of support and professionalism was excellent at all times. I also felt if I needed to ask or clarify anything that it was not an issue. Buying and selling a house is stressful enough, but Gemma helped me through it step by step."

Anita Toal LLB BA

"I think you are brilliant. You can use my comments above. You are efficient, friendly and quite clearly very good at what you do. Mainly you don’t leave people hanging around too long for." "So easy to talk to her and she understood what I wanted. She put me at ease and I cant thank her enough"

James Turner BA

James Turner was extremely helpful with our buying process. Everything went smoothly. We are very happy with the level of professionalism demonstrated by the office. Highly recommended solicitors. Will definitely do business with them again.

Daven Naghen LLB

"Daven provided an excellent service, from attending the first interview with me to the final court appearance. He filled me full of confidence that he would defend me to which he did and come out with an excellent outcome in view of my position that I had put myself in."

Faye Blair LLB

Faye was excellent, sensitive and acted very well to the time constraints we faced. Great service and dealt with compassion at such sad times made the process less painful very professional.

Jamie Dobbs GCILEx

Over the last forty years I have cause to deal with many law firms both in a personal and professional capacity, including some ‘top’ London Companies. In all of those dealings I have never found anyone as proactive and so willing to offer help and advice as Jamie Dobbs. During the last two years Jamie guided my parents through the completion of Lasting Powers of Attorney. Helped myself with the use of the LPA and recently dealing with Probate and Estate Administration following their death.

Mike Pepper MA

Mike Pepper gave us excellent advice. He was always most helpful and accommodating giving lucid explanations every step of the way. Thank you Mike.

Donna Sandison FCILEx

Donna has been helpful and professional every step of the way during the process. Always on hand to answer any queries and totally professional and friendly at all times.