Small Claims Track Limit to Stay at £1,000 - For Now
The Ministry of Justice has confirmed that the Small Claims Track limit in relation to personal injury matters will not be raised at this moment in time.
In its much anticipated response to its whiplash consultation, it was confirmed that:
the Government remains of the view that extending the Small Claims track would be beneficial in providing a low cost route to bringing a claim through the courts, with each side bearing its own costs
This was justified on the basis that increasing the Small Claims Track limit would save Defendants costs and that such savings “would enable the Government to keep up the momentum on insurers to reduce the cost of motor insurance premiums to the benefit of motorists and their families”.
However, having considered the view of the Transport Committee – which was that “access to justice is likely to be impaired, particularly for people who do not feel confident to represent themselves in what will seem to some to be a complex and intimidating process” if the limit was to be increased – it was concluded that the Small Claims Track limit would not be raised from the £1,000 at which it is currently set.
Shortly after the response was published, Justice Secretary Chris Grayling confirmed that he was not willing to rule-out a future rise in the Small Claims Track limit. The consultation response provides that any such rise will follow a period of monitoring the results of the reforms to civil litigation which were introduced in April 2013.