Government whiplash crackdown would also hit legitimate claims from cyclists say campaigners
Alex Bowden December 6 2016
Small claims limit could be raised – around 70 per cent of cyclists’ compensation claims are for less than £5,000
British Cyclingand Cycling UKhave condemned plans to reform the claims process used by motorists seeking compensation for whiplash injuries. The two organisations point out that the proposed changes will leave cyclists and pedestrians with legal bills if they need to make a claim that’s under £5,000. Around 70 per cent of cyclists’ compensation claims are for less than this.
Last month, solicitors at the Leigh Day law firm said that cyclists injured on the roads would find it harder to pursue compensation from drivers as a result of Ministry of Justice proposals which would see the small claims limit for personal injury raised from £1,000 to £5,000.
The move is a bid to get tough on bogus whiplash claims, but it would also have an impact on injured cyclists as many would be unlikely to obtain appropriate legal advice as the legal costs of claims under the personal injury limit are not recoverable.
In a recent blog post, Leigh Day’s Andrew Bradley points out that while it is often difficult for insurers to dispute whiplash claims, pedestrians and cyclists looking to claim compensation are likely to have sustained broken bones, stitches and injuries that are plain to see.