Trade body slams 'flawed' Civil Liability Act

Lord Keen urged to find a solution

Trade body slams 'flawed' Civil Liability Act

Motor & Fleet

By Terry Gangcuangco

Is the 2018 Civil Liability Act a flawed piece of legislation? If you ask the Association of Consumer Support Organisations (ACSO), their answer would be ‘yes’.

The trade body believes that the changes to the way victims of road traffic accidents (RTAs) are compensated will result in most injured children losing their legal rights to seek redress.

Referring to those who will be impacted, ACSO executive director Matthew Maxwell Scott asserted: “They can’t use the new portal, they can’t use the old portal, and so the only option would be a traditional, paper-based process including a trip to court.

“However, caps on solicitors’ fees mean no lawyers would be able to able to take such cases on.”

Maxwell Scott went so far as to say that minors and protected parties will be “stranded in a civil justice no man’s land,” unless the law is revised.

He noted: “Data from ACSO members who specialise in supporting RTA victims shows almost all injured children could be affected by this.

“While this must surely be the result of a mistake rather than ministerial design, it’s right to ask how this policy has survived a reform programme first announced almost four years ago and despite previous warnings that this risk existed.”

Meanwhile ACSO has turned to the Ministry of Justice’s Lord Keen of Elie.

“We have written to Lord Keen, the minister responsible, and urged him to find a solution,” said the executive director. “The easiest way may be to amend the Civil Liability Act to exclude children and protected parties from the definition of ‘whiplash’.

“This would restore access to justice to tens of thousands of people who are almost always innocent passengers, although it would also help injured drivers aged 17 enjoy the same rights as those aged 18 or more.”

Maxwell Scott added: “We support any measures that will make it simpler for injured people to receive justice, and look forward to any resulting savings being passed on to customers. But nobody wants these savings to be made by removing rights from children.”

Related Stories

Keep up with the latest news and events

Join our mailing list, it’s free!