The Rehabilitation Code
In October 2015 the rehabilitation code was updated for the third time in its history and the changes come into force on the 1st December after months of consultation with lawyers and insurers.
The first version of the Rehabilitation Code was launched in 1999 and was updated in 2007.
Rehabilitation is a key part of many claimant’s road to recovery although the type and extent of treatment will differ widely depending on the severity of the original accident.
The new code takes into account the significant differences between claims valued at less than £25,000 (known as low value injuries) and more serious or catastrophic injuries.
The code states that rehabilitation needs should be assessed by independent professionals, and lower value injuries most will only require a triage report. The code recognises that the lower value claims have different characteristics to higher value claims and there may be a case for treatment to be sought before getting agreement from the compensator. It states that in the cases where rehabilitation is sought before agreement, that the compensator is not obliged to pay for any treatment that is “unnecessary, disproportionate or unduly expensive”.
This comes alongside Chancellor George Osborne’s Autumn Statement and Spending Review yesterday in which he said that the government would consult in the New Year on proposals to end the practice of making cash settlements for whiplash claims.
He suggested that the cost of dealing with inflated personal injury claims is one of the main reasons motor insurance premiums have risen over the last decade and the ease with which people can get payouts for whiplash has been widely criticised.
The government wants to remove the right to claim “general” damages for soft-tissue injuries such as whiplash and ministers say more cases should be dealt with by the small-claims court.
Together these measures could save drivers between £40 and £50 a year, Osborne claimed.