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The suspension of whiplash reforms offers scope for improvement, reports The Law Society. 
 
Suspension of Whiplash Reforms 
 
The whiplash reforms have long been met with concern by legal professionals across England and Wales.  Plans to increase the small claims limit for motoring claims to £5,000.00 would have drastically reduced injured victims' ability to obtain rightful compensation. 
 
The reforms were initially due to be introduced in April 2019, but have now been pushed back until April 2020. 
 
Law Society president Christina Blacklaws said: “We welcome this delay. Increasing the small claims limit would restrict people’s ability to access legal advice while making a claim. 
 
“We set out our concerns to the Commons Justice Select Committee and their report, which the government has today responded to, mirrored our submission and included our complexity chart, which illustrates some of the thorny issues a claimant might face when bringing a claim without proper legal representation. 
 
“It is a mistake to equate the value of a claim with its complexity and to conclude that representation is not needed. Personal injury claimants require legal representation to bring claims. 
 
“Raising the small claims limit to the levels proposed risks removing solicitors from the process. Claimants would be unable to bring claims, or would be left with a long, complex route in order to seek the compensation they are entitled to. Many would be driven to use the services of Claims Management Companies (CMCs). 
 
“Increasing the small claims limit to £5,000 for all road traffic accident claims will effectively deny access to justice to all victims of road traffic accidents, including vulnerable road users such as pedestrians and cyclists. 
 
“These changes will have a significant impact on access to justice and we are calling on the government to reconsider its decision.” 
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