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New Judicial College Guidelines expected to add to claims inflation

The new 13th edition of the Judicial College Guidelines for the Assessment of General Damages in Personal Injury Cases was published last month. 

There can be no doubt that the publication of the new Guidelines will increase claims inflation. It is in relation to small claims where the impact of the 13th edition will be felt most significantly. This is not only because proportionately PSLA represents a larger part of the claim, but also because it is this type of claim where the committee has made some of the largest increases. The value of a 3 month whiplash claim has increased by 20% from £1,550 to £1,860 as seemingly an effect of rationalising the valuations of that type of claim with the section valuing minor injuries. In his introduction, Langstaff J. speaks of an intention to conduct a thorough review of the guidelines over the next 2 years before the 14th edition is due in 2017, with one of the aspects to be reviewed being the inflation index to be used. While the Guidelines can be expected to produce a biennial upwards pressure on PSLA for as long as there is inflation in our economic system, a move away from the RPI may have a positive future impact.

For further analysis of the Guidelines please contact Alex Fusco, Associate, Professional Support Lawyer.

By Simon Denyer

This information is intended as a general discussion surrounding the topics covered and is for guidance purposes only. It does not constitute legal advice and should not be regarded as a substitute for taking legal advice. DWF is not responsible for any activity undertaken based on this information.