I have just read the Government's Impact Assessment. I thought for a minute it was an April Fool joke but then looked at the date - it was written 10th March.
In the assessment, Annex A reveals that the Ministry of Justice have based their assessment purely on data received from Jaggards. Now anyone in the personal injury industry will have heard of them. Jaggards act for defendant insurers and their role is to knock down the claimant's costs. They take any and all possible stances to do this (trust me, I was in practice for 7 years and had to deal with them).
So do you think their dataset will be skewed towards the defendants? Well the Government doesn't think so. I do.
Let's look at one item in particular. The Impact Assessment states that the Jaggards data shows average GENERAL damages in Road Traffic Accidents are £4,348. Now when I was in practice not so long ago, average damages were £2,000. Claimants need to get some data together (come on APIL!) but I suspect what has happened here is that Jaggards have accidentally given the total damages figure to the Ministry and not the General Damages figure.
Now this is quite important as the Ministry is now assuming the clients will be getting an additional £434 on average which should be more than enough to pay for success fees and After the Event insurance. If the true figure is half this sum then that is a very different kettle of fish.
If you are a member of APIL and are reading this, contact them now. This is an outrage. Something must be done.
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