A group of industry experts have agreed that extra care needs to be taken before any further reforms to low value personal injury claims are made.
A 67-page report into the future of claims under £25,000.00 has been published by the working group of the Civil Justice Council.
The report focuses on how to progress cases more quickly and cheaply and how to eliminate ‘unmeritorious cases’.
The group made up of individuals from the claimant and defendant sector looked at several topics including the extension of the existing small claims portal, fixed recoverable costs, the scope of MedCo and qualified one-way costs shifting.
Although unsurprisingly there was a lack of agreement on a number of contentious issues there was a general agreement that more work was needed to assist litigants in person in negotiating an unchartered claims process without legal representation.
Following the reforms a litigant in person will not only have to navigate through the claims process without any legal knowledge but will also be expected to operate the online system.
The report has expressed the need for rules relating to small claims to be written in a format that is “clear and intelligible to the lay individual” and which should include instructions as to what is required to process the claim and how to use the online system.
From April 2021 the official injury claim portal is set for whiplash claims alone. The group expressed concern that when the portal is extended to include different case types care should be taken to avoid a ‘one-size-fits-all approach’ and has called for a ‘comprehensive’ pre-action protocol to be drawn up.
The MedCo system in place for diagnosing whiplash will also need to be remodelled to apply to other personal injury claims, especially to avoid any problems with expert selection and to ensure that specialist medical experts are in place to assess more complex injuries.
In relation ‘unmeritorious’ claims the report has recommended that the existing claims portal behaviour committee should have greater powers to deal with poor behaviour and to interact with regulators such as the SRA in a bid to stamp out unreasonable conduct.
This report has highlighted issues where extra care is needed when considering any further reforms and the importance of continuous monitoring.
Here at Box Legal we have been offering after the event legal expense insurance for personal injury claims since 2004 and have a wealth of experience in this field. We have competitively priced ATE insurance policies available for all types of personal injury claims, from standard policies for both low and high value claims, as well as bespoke ATE insurance policies for more complex cases. We can also arrange legal expense insurance cover for non-personal injury claims, including housing disrepair and financial mis-selling claims.
The number and variety of cases we arrange cover for is always increasing and so please contact us to discuss any after the event insurance requirements. We are happy to discuss and develop ATE insurance even for case types we do not already insure.
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