MoJ claims process
The widespread expectation that claimant firms would diversify away from road traffic accident work into other, potentially more lucrative areas of personal injury has not proved to be the case, according to new research. It also said the plan to introduce a tariff for low-value RTA damages would remove the “inflationary involvement of the judiciary”.
There are suggestions that some accident victims are being “forced into rehab” by lawyers and claims management companies determined to “boost their own incomes”, an independent report has found.
The Court of Appeal has invited the Law Society to intervene in a highly significant hearing this month in which insurers are trying to recover millions of pounds in RTA claims portal fees from claimant solicitors in the so-called ‘£400 club’.
Applications for pre-action disclosure in cases that leave the personal injury portals are still subject to fixed costs, the Court of Appeal has ruled. However, it suggested that the rule committee might have to increase the level of fixed costs so as to incentivise defendant to comply with their disclosure obligations.
A structural change at MedCo kicks off our round-up of a series of significant appointments in the world of litigation. Martin Heskins has been named as MedCo’s executive chair with responsibility for leadership and strategic direction.
A district judge in Manchester has made an award of exemplary damages after finding road traffic accident claimants guilty of bringing fundamentally dishonest claims. The claimants in the two vehicles claimed not to know each other but an investigation showed that they did.
Cases that exit the RTA and EL/PL protocols and then proceed on the multi-track are not subject to fixed recoverable costs, the Court of Appeal has ruled today. The court said the uncertainty had arisen from an oversight in the drafting of part 45.29B by the Civil Procedure Rule Committee.
Listing a portal ‘drop out’ case for a disposal hearing is listing for trial, meaning that it attracts column 3 fixed costs if it then settles, the Court of Appeal has ruled. The much-anticipated decision will allow for the resolution of thousands of cases that have been stayed until the issue was resolved.
Some 134 ‘shell’ companies were yesterday removed from MedCo in the wake of the new rules announced last month by the Ministry of Justice. The search offer provided to claimants and solicitors has also changed to provide greater choice and improve the chances of the large MROs being instructed.
The Ministry of Justice has finally laid out how it will stop the large medical reporting organisations registering ‘shell’ companies on MedCo, a practice it said “undermined the government’s policy principles of independence and fair competition”.
Proportionality is one of the major issues that we find we are dealing with at the end of a matter, particularly in the small-to-medium-value claims. Why was it introduced? It was considered that the then existing system was not working and that a system needed to be put in place which would “promote access to justice at proportionate cost”. In 2009, Court of Appeal judge Sir Anthony May said: “Assessments which have to concentrate retrospectively on what the winning party has spent will always risk producing a disproportionate result.”