The Civil Liability Bill received Royal Assent on the 20th December 2018 and has become the Civil Liability Act 2018. The new Act forms a key part of the Government’s “whiplash reforms” and  controversially introduces fixed general damages for those suffering whiplash injuries lasting up to 2 years. The amount of the damages will be set out in a statutory instrument made by the Lord Chancellor, and whilst (under section 3 (11) of the Act) the Lord Chancellor must consult the Lord Chief Justice before determining the sums, they are expected to be substantially less than are currently recommended in the Judicial College Guidelines for such injuries.

The new Act is expected to come in to force in April 2020 concurrently with the Government’s planned increase in the small claims limit for personal injury claims arising out of road traffic accidents from £1,000 to £5,000.