MPs urged to back amendments to small claims limit that would cheat vulnerable road users out of compensation

MPs urged to back amendments to small claims limit that would cheat vulnerable road users out of compensation

Cycling UK is appealing for common sense to prevail as it urges the Government to drop plans to include vulnerable road users, such as cyclists, in proposals that would cheat them out of full compensation if they are injured on the road.

Yesterday (June 12), Baroness Vere, the Government Whip in the Lords, said it was ‘sympathetic to the arguments’ and would continue to consider the matter.

Last month, the House of Commons Justice Select Committee accepted Cycling UK’s evidence that vulnerable road users should be excluded from the changes to the compensation rules.

Cycling UK is now appealing to MPs to press the Government to commit to this exclusion when the Civil Liability Bill goes to the Commons later this month.

Duncan Dollimore, Head of Campaigns at Cycling UK, said: “We’re urging MPs to do the right thing. Increasing the small claims limit from £1,000 to £5,000 would cheat pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists from full compensation after being injured on our roads.

“It’s common sense and would ensure the interests of victims are put before those of the insurance sector. Why wouldn’t you?”

The small claims limit for personal injury claims currently sits at £1,000. This effectively means, if you have a personal injury claim where you receive more than £1,000 for your injuries, your legal costs are recoverable.

Government proposals to increase the small claims limit to £5,000 were announced in December 2016. These proposals would mean people claiming compensation for injuries worth less than £5,000 would not recover legal costs, even where the other party was to blame.

Legal costs, when incurred, would therefore have to come from the victim, meaning victims would therefore not receive full compensation.

Mr Dollimore continued: “Common injuries including among these groups include fractured collarbones and wrists, all of which usually sit below the proposed £5,000 threshold.

“However, if the insurance industry has its way, 70% of vulnerable road users would have been prevented from recovering their legal costs even when someone else is to blame for their injuries. That’s neither fair nor right.”

This would have particularly affected cyclists, as analysis of past cases by Slater and Gordon and Leigh Day Solicitors showed 70% of cyclists’ compensation claims are for injuries worth less than £5,000, such as fractures to collarbones, elbows, and wrists.

Cycling UK has been campaigning tirelessly to amend the Bill, meeting with officials and ministers since the initial changes were announced at the end of 2016.

Contact information 

For more information contact the national Cycling UK Press Office on 01483 238 315, 07786 320 713 or email publicity@cyclinguk.org

Notes to editors 
  1. Cycling UK, the national cycling charity, inspires and helps people to cycle and keep cycling, whatever kind of cycling they do or would like to do. Over a century’s experience tells us that cycling is more than useful transport; it makes you feel good, gives you a sense of freedom and creates a better environment for everyone. www.cyclinguk.org
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