Civil Liability Bill [HL]

Explanatory Notes

Legal background

16. The following paragraphs explain the current legal background.


17. There are currently no legislative provisions that seek to regulate damages for pain, suffering and loss of amenity for road traffic accident related ("RTA") whiplash injuries. The assessment and award of such damages is a matter for the court by reference to the facts of the case, including the severity of the injuries and previous awards for similar injuries. Guidance on damages is provided in the Judicial College Guidelines for the Assessment of General Damages in Personal Injury Cases. 1

18. There are currently no legislative provisions which ban inviting and the offer, paying and acceptance of settlements in RTA related whiplash claims by regulated persons prior to the receipt of medical evidence. Clauses 4 to 7 of the Bill, however, adopt a similar approach to provisions in sections 56 to 60 of the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012, which ban the payment and acceptance of referral fees and sections 57 to 61 of the Criminal Justice and Courts Act 2015 which ban the offer of inducements in respect of personal injury claims. In both cases, the ban is applied to "regulated persons" (for example, solicitors and barristers), and is monitored and enforced by the relevant regulator (for example, the Law Society and Bar Council) who may make provision in regulations for that purpose. The Lord Chancellor may add to the lists of both regulated persons to whom the ban should apply and relevant regulators.

Personal Injury Discount rate

19. The relevant legal background is explained in paragraphs 8-15 of these Notes.


1 14th edition, September 2017; published by the Oxford University Press (ISBN-10 0198814526 ISBN-13 978-0198814528)


Prepared 20th March 2018