Government rules out further whiplash reforms

The government has announced there will be no further reforms to the whiplash claims process.

Last year it introduced part one of the reforms, which addressed the amount of pay-outs claimants could receive following a road traffic accident and introduced an online portal enabling claimants to make claims independent of a personal injury lawyer.

Part two was expected to look at referrals, credit hire and rehabilitation, but the government has now said it will let the market resolve any outstanding concerns.

Matthew Maxwell Scott, executive director of the Association of Consumer Support Organisations, said: “A sector so used to often damaging upheaval will be giving a sigh of relief that the government has decided against any further changes. Quite why this response took five years to emerge is anyone’s guess, though the serious challenges officials are currently experiencing with the operation of the new claims portal may go some way to explaining the delay.

“Rightly, ministers are now looking to the wider industry to keep its own respective houses in order, and we look forward to further work with colleagues on issues such as rehabilitation, alternative dispute resolution and credit hire.

“There is, nevertheless, still a need for action through greater self-regulation and cross-industry engagement as there are numerous areas of unnecessary friction, uncertainty and poor engagement, which creates adverse outcomes for consumers and those who operate in those markets

“For now, however, a threat of further government intervention has been lifted and we must hope the market can focus on what matters most, which is the consumers who depend on being able to access an effective civil justice system.”