By Hilary Meredith:
The Ministry of Justice has confirmed there is to be no increase in the small claims court limit.
This is welcome news indeed – by leaving the small claims limit alone common sense has prevailed. It is right decision for accident victims.
Thankfully, insurers have failed to convince the government that a £5,000 limit would help to tackle fraudulent and exaggerated claims. This was never going to be the case, it was simply a case of insurers acting in their own interests and trying to influence Government policy. Their winning streak has come to an end – and not before time.
It is understood the MoJ decided to back away from an increase because of concerns raised during the consultation and following the House of Commons transport select committee report, published in the summer, which opposed it.
Law Society chief executive Desmond Hudson has hailed the MoJ decision to heed the warnings of the transport select committee and maintain the small claims limit at its current level for personal injuries as ‘good news for accident victims and a victory for common sense’. ‘It reduces the risk of people with real injuries being fobbed off with less than they are entitled to,’ he said.
‘The government has made the right decision in the face of relentless lobbying by the insurance industry seeking to increase the small claims limit and make it more difficult for genuine claimants to obtain just settlements.
‘We will be studying the MoJ’s consultation in detail, because we are clear that weeding out false claims must not be at the expense of genuine claimants or radical meddling with the working of the civil justice system with consequent risks.’
I agree with him entirely.