Its fair to say that our departure from the EU caught many people in the UK off guard; with the legal industry across the nation a little lost at the same time.
It’s left a lot of people asking what happens to their claim, or potential claims if it occurred in the EU. Will leaving the EU affect you at all?
Well, a lot of our laws stem directly from Europe; with some people claiming that as many as 70% of our laws are linked in some way to European regulations or directives. The removal of EU legislation could remove an extra layer in processes but there is a big worry that the our legal system could be set back a number of years.
There are a number of EU regulations in place that have a direct effect on personal injury claims. These include laws related to accidents abroad, safety in the workplace and consumer protection. Since deciding to leave the EU, this legislation could be amended or scrapped completely, making it much harder for people to pursue a personal injury claim.
A number of directives exist to protect British citizens who’ve been injured in road traffic accidents at the hands of uninsured or untraced drivers whilst on holiday in Europe.
However, following our departure from the EU, those wishing to claim for their injuries following an accident may no longer be able to benefit from these laws or from other EU motor insurance directives which allow individuals to pursue their claim in the UK.
Small claims limit
Last Autumn, it was proposed to raise the small claims limit from £1,000 to £5,000. It was also proposed that the victims of road traffic accidents should no longer be able to claim for whiplash. Since then, the legal industry has been waiting to see what might happen. However, with such significant changes taking place after Brexit, it’s likely that this will be pushed further down the agenda.
While politicians and commentators can speculate on what will happen following Brexit, it is impossible to be certain of the implications, as they would depend largely on what replaced Britain’s membership of the EU.
Potential changes to current EU laws will reflect both political and economic forces, out of the control of innocent accident victims. It is these individuals who will find it more difficult to recover damages for their pain and suffering if key legislation is amended or abolished.