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A retired woman from Dorset, who faced 10 months of pain following a car accident that wasn’t her fault, could have received over £3,000 less than her actual settlement if the government’s proposed reforms to personal injury compensation become law.

The tariffs are part of a raft of proposed reforms to personal injury claims for victims by the Ministry of Justice (MoJ). The tariff system is meant to provide compensation for pain and suffering, but under current plans at a level greatly reduced from the current position.

Under the new system, Deborah – who received a settlement of £4,250 for her injuries –could have been entitled to a much lower compensation payment of £1,190.

In this case, 60-year-old Deborah was left in shock after the car accident and sustained injuries to her neck and the right side of her body, including shoulder, hip and wrist. She also suffered from ongoing headaches and travel anxiety, leading to difficulty sleeping and struggles in completing daily personal care and required tasks.

Deborah had been slowing with the traffic ahead at the time of the accident, when a negligent driver failed to stop in time, colliding with her vehicle and shunting her car into the one in front. The resulting whiplash left her needing rehabilitation support with a physiotherapist. As the reforms have not yet taken effect, the value of her personal injury claim and financial losses were negotiated with the negligent driver’s insurer.

Following receipt of the settlement, Deborah said: “Everyone made my experience as stress free as possible. I always felt that everything was done with my best interests at heart. I felt my claim was handled with efficiency and a great deal of understanding and was made as pain-free as possible.”

While the changes will not affect any clients with ongoing claims, this case is a stark reminder of the forthcoming changes and the negative impact they may have on future personal injury claims for whiplash. Find out more about the proposed changes here.