Civil Liability Act 2018

Document Number:2018 CHAPTER 29
 
FREE EXCERPT

An Act to make provision about whiplash claims and the personal injury discount rate.

Be it enacted by the Queen’s most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:—

PART 1 Whiplash

Whiplash injuries

1“Whiplash injury” etc

(1) In this Part “whiplash injury” means an injury of soft tissue in the neck, back or shoulder that is of a description falling within subsection (2) , but not including an injury excepted by subsection (3).

(2) An injury falls within this subsection if it is—

(a) a sprain, strain, tear, rupture or lesser damage of a muscle, tendon or ligament in the neck, back or shoulder, or

(b) an injury of soft tissue associated with a muscle, tendon or ligament in the neck, back or shoulder.

(3) An injury is excepted by this subsection if—

(a) it is an injury of soft tissue which is a part of or connected to another injury, and

(b) the other injury is not an injury of soft tissue in the neck, back or shoulder of a description falling within subsection (2).

(4) For the purposes of this Part a person suffers a whiplash injury because of driver negligence if—

(a) when the person suffers the injury, the person—

(i) is using a motor vehicle other than a motor cycle on a road or other public place in England or Wales, or

(ii) is being carried in or on a motor vehicle other than a motor cycle while another uses the vehicle on a road or other public place in England or Wales,

(b) the injury is caused—

(i) by the negligence of one or more other persons, or

(ii) partly by the negligence of one or more other persons and partly by the negligence of the person who suffers the injury, and

(c) the negligence of the other person or persons consists in an act or acts done by the person or persons while using a motor vehicle on a road or other public place in England or Wales.

(5) The fact that the act or acts constituting the negligence of the other person or persons is or are also sufficient to establish another cause of action does not prevent subsection (4)(b) being satisfied.

(6) For the purposes of this section references to a person being carried in or on a vehicle include references to a person entering or getting on to, or alighting from, the vehicle.

(7) In this section—

“act” includes omission;

“motor cycle” has the meaning given by section 185(1) of the Road Traffic Act 1988;

“motor vehicle” means a mechanically propelled vehicle intended or adapted for use on roads;

“road” means a highway or other road to which the public has access, and includes bridges over which a road passes.

2 Power to amend section 1

(1) The Lord Chancellor may by regulations amend the definition of “whiplash injury” in section 1 , but not so as to include an injury of soft tissue other than soft tissue in the neck, back or shoulder.

(2) Before making regulations under subsection (1) , the Lord Chancellor must—

(a) review the definition of “whiplash injury” in section 1 ,

(b) as part of the review, consider whether to amend section 1 ,

(c) prepare and publish a report of the review, including a decision whether or not to amend section 1 and the reasons for the decision, and

(d) lay a copy of the report before Parliament.

(3) After laying the copy of the report before Parliament and before making regulations under subsection (1) , the Lord Chancellor must consult—

(a) the Lord Chief Justice;

(b) the General Council of the Bar;

(c) the Law Society;

(d) the Chief Medical Officer of the Department of Health and Social Care;

(e) the member of staff of the Welsh Government designated by the Welsh Ministers as the Chief Medical Officer for Wales;

(f) such other persons or bodies as the Lord Chancellor considers appropriate.

(4) The Lord Chancellor may not carry out the first review under subsection (2) before the end of the period of three years beginning with the day on which section 1 comes into force.

(5) After the first review, the Lord Chancellor may not carry out a review under subsection (2) before the end of the period of three years beginning with—

(a) if regulations under subsection (1) were made following the previous review, the day on which those regulations came into force, or

(b) if no regulations under subsection (1) were made following the previous review, the day on which a copy of the report of the previous review was laid before Parliament.

(6) A statutory instrument containing regulations under this section is subject to affirmative resolution procedure.

Damages

3 Damages for whiplash injuries

(1) This section applies in relation to the determination by a court of damages for pain, suffering and loss of amenity in a case where—

(a) a person (“the claimant”) suffers a whiplash injury because of driver negligence, and

(b) the duration of the whiplash injury or any of the whiplash injuries suffered on that occasion—

(i) does not exceed, or is not likely to exceed, two years, or

(ii) would not have exceeded, or would not be likely to exceed, two years but for the claimant’s failure to take reasonable steps to mitigate its effect.

(2) The amount of damages for pain, suffering and loss of amenity payable in respect of the whiplash injury or injuries, taken together, is to be an amount specified in regulations made by the Lord Chancellor.

(3) If the claimant suffers one or more minor psychological injuries on the same occasion as the whiplash injury or injuries, the amount of damages for pain, suffering and loss of amenity payable in respect of the minor psychological injury or the minor psychological injuries, taken together, is to be an amount specified in regulations made by the Lord Chancellor.

(4) If regulations made by the Lord Chancellor so provide, the amount of damages for pain, suffering and loss of amenity payable in respect of—

(a) the whiplash injury or injuries, and

(b) a minor psychological injury or injuries suffered by the claimant on the same occasion as the whiplash injury or injuries,

taken together, is to be an amount specified in regulations made by the Lord Chancellor (notwithstanding subsections (2) and (3)).

(5) Regulations under this section may in particular—

(a) specify different amounts in respect of different durations of injury;

(b) specify amounts in respect of minor psychological injuries by reference to the duration of the related whiplash injury or injuries.

(6) Regulations under this section may provide for a person to be treated as if the person had taken reasonable steps to mitigate the effect of the person’s whiplash injury or minor psychological injury.

(7) Regulations under this section amending or replacing earlier regulations may increase or reduce amounts payable in respect of injuries.

(8) Nothing in this section prevents a court, in a case where a person suffers an injury or injuries in addition to an injury or injuries to which regulations under this section apply, awarding an amount of damages for pain, suffering and loss of amenity that reflects the combined effect of the person’s injuries (subject to the limits imposed by regulations under this section).

(9) Nothing in this section prevents the amount of damages payable being reduced by virtue of section 1 of the Law Reform (Contributory Negligence) Act 1945.

(10) This section does not apply in relation to damages payable by a person because of the person’s breach of the duty under section 143(1)(b) of the Road Traffic Act 1988 (duty not to cause or permit any other person to drive without insurance or security in respect of third party risks).

(11) The Lord Chancellor must consult the Lord Chief Justice before making regulations under this section.

(12) A statutory instrument containing regulations under this section is subject to affirmative resolution procedure.

4 Review of regulations under section 3

(1) The Lord Chancellor must carry out reviews of regulations made under section 3.

(2) The first review must be completed before the end of the period of three years beginning with the day on which the first regulations under section 3 come into force.

(3) Subsequent reviews must be completed before the end of the period of three years beginning with the day on which the previous review was completed.

(4) The Lord Chancellor must prepare and publish a report of each review.

(5) The Lord Chancellor must lay a copy of each report before Parliament.

5 Uplift in exceptional circumstances

(1) Regulations made by the Lord Chancellor may provide for a court—

(a) to determine that the amount of damages payable for pain, suffering and loss of amenity in respect of one or more whiplash injuries is an amount greater than the tariff amount relating to that injury or those injuries;

(b) to determine that the amount of damages payable for pain, suffering and loss of amenity in respect of one or more whiplash injuries and one or more minor psychological injuries, taken together, is an amount greater than the tariff amount relating to those injuries;

(c) in a case where the court considers the combined effect of—

(i) an injury or injuries in respect of which a tariff amount is specified by regulations under section 3(2) or (4) , and

(ii) one or more other injuries,

to determine that an amount greater...

To continue reading

REQUEST YOUR TRIAL