2013 General Damages Increase – Compensation Reduction in Disguise?

The Court of Appeal announced on 27th July 2012 that damages paid to Claimants in respect of personal injury damages will rise by 10% from 1st April 2013. Seems simple? Not quite.

Firstly, the current brackets for personal injury damages have remained the same since 2010 and RPI inflation has run at just below 5% year on year. Secondly, as a result of further reforms injured Claimant’s will no longer be able to recover success fees from the responsible party’s representatives. As a result Claimant’s face a 25% deduction from their own damages to cover this risk.

In the announcement, the lord chief justice, master of the rolls and vice-president of the Court of Appeal said the uplift would not achieve ‘perfect justice in every case.’

Whilst any increase to the amounts awarded to genuinely injured victims is welcomed. The consequences of the wider reforms of the Civil Justice System are that injured Claimant’s still face a net loss to their damages in the long run. This is too little, too late.