Streamlined process for dealing with low value claims
The vast majority of Personal Injury claims are said to result in settlements of between £1,000 and £10,000. A new scheme (or “RTA Protocol”) has been set up with a view to streamlining, and hopefully quickening, settlements in cases in which liability is admitted where the value is between £1,000 and £10,000.
The new scheme sets out to deal with a number of shortcomings in the current scheme, including delay in admissions of liability by Insurance Companies. The new scheme encourages Insurance Companies to make an early decision as to liability with an incentive that they save legal costs by that early admission.
The new scheme was originally intended to cover all Personal Injury claims other than Clinical Negligence claims up to a value of £25,000. In fact it has been restricted to Road Traffic Accident cases, in which liability is admitted, and which are worth less than £10,000 (excluding damage to the vehicle and hire costs).
Whilst there are many nuances to the scheme, there are essentially three stages as follows:-
• Stage 1: Comprehensive information is supplied by the solicitor acting for the Claimant, electronically, on a Claim Notification Form. A similar but separate form is sent by the Claimant’s solicitor to the person against whom the claim is being made.
• Stage 2 involves the Claimant’s solicitor obtaining a medical report in a prescribed form and then preparing a Settlement Pack which again is sent electronically to the Insurer. There is provision for the Claimant’s solicitor to seek an interim payment on behalf of his client. A short period is allowed for negotiation but if settlement is not reached then the Claimant’s solicitor will complete a Court Proceedings Pack, which has to be agreed with the Defendant’s Insurer and this is then sent to the Court.
• Stage 3: The Court then decides what amount of compensation is to be awarded. This is done by way of a paper assessment with no attendance at Court, or at a simplified hearing.
Patrick Nelson, Associate at Hand Morgan & Owen Solicitors comments “Hand Morgan & Owen are committed to recovering the correct amount of compensation to which clients are entitled. We hope that this scheme will assist achieving this object in the case of Low Value Personal Injury Claims”.
For a free, no obligation discussion as to how we may help, please telephone Patrick Nelson on 01785 211411.
16 September 2010
The contents of this article are for the purposes of general awareness only. They do not purport to constitute legal or professional advice. The law may have changed since this article was published. Readers should not act on the basis of the information included and should take appropriate professional advice upon their own particular circumstances. (50587)