The cycling community breathes a sigh of relief following a near miss in reform proposals to the personal injury sector.
The legislation would however still block essential legal advice for injuries worth £2,000 or less when a negligent driver crashes into their car, doubling the previous limit of £1,000.
The proposed reforms, intended for April 2020, have softened in only this one respect since they were first introduced, with the personal injury minimum first proposed as £5,000 and to include most cyclists and pedestrians injured on the road.
Justice minister David Gorke has now included cyclists under the “vulnerable claimants” category, for the purpose of the Bill’s small claims personal injury limit definition.
Although this particular decision is a welcome change, cyclists injured in a road accident will experience reduced support, if these reforms are successful.
Cycle Accident Claims Solicitor and keen cyclist Jan Canter anticipates cycle victims pursuing a claim may struggle to secure a legal representative.
“If the small claims limit is to raise to £2000 for cyclists as has been suggested, this will still mean that cycle victims who suffer genuine soft tissue and ligamentous injuries (which could attract awards of less than £2000) as a consequence of no fault accident are unlikely to find representation.”
The reforms on a whole have faced strong opposition from the legal and cycling community. Law Society President Christina Blacklaws said the legislation will still mean road users injured through no fault of their own will struggle to get justice.
“While we are glad that the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) has listened to some of our concerns and decided to remove vulnerable road users from the measures in the bill, we simply cannot accept that a £5,000 small claims limit for motoring claims is reasonable,” she said.
The proposed reforms are expected to be implemented and will add to the legal blows and reduced access to justice which have resulted in recent years, which seem to be creating an increasingly unsafe, unsupported environment for all road users including cyclists.
To fully understand your legal rights as a cyclist on the road, contact Jan Canter or one of the experienced Cycle Accident Claims Solicitors for free, confidential advice – 0800 093 6313.