The Ministry of Justice has confirmed that the whiplash reforms, previously delayed until 1 August 2020, will now be delayed until April 2021.
The statement from the Secretary of State for Justice, Robert Buckland states that the reason for the delay, perhaps unsurprisingly, is “the current Covid-19 pandemic has had an unprecedented impact on the medical, legal and insurance sectors. While the whiplash reform measures remain important, the Government is committed to acting to ease the disruption and pressures caused by the Covid-19 outbreak where it can.”
The Minister further states that “As a result, the Government has considered representations from key stakeholder groups and agrees that now is not the time to press ahead with significant transformational change to the personal injury sector. We have therefore decided to delay the implementation of the whiplash reform programme to April 2021”.
What remains outstanding?
Notwithstanding the current pandemic, the issues below remain the key obstructions to the successful implementation of the reforms:
Confirmation of the pre-action protocol and the rules for the use of the Official Injury Claim portal via with the Civil Procedure Rules Committee;
Publish the updated tariffs for whiplash injuries;
Preparation of the legislative changes to the small claims track;
Publication of any additional medical reporting qualifying criteria;
In the aftermath of the initial delay from April 2020 to August 2020, we identified and discussed these issues and our analysis remains the same at this stage.
We will continue to keep you updated on the progress of the reforms.