MedCo has continued its enforcement activity by suspending 23 medical reporting organisations and 14 direct medical experts for failing to upload medical case data to its system. Both are required to upload medical case data as part of their user agreements.
Solicitors who received the £400 stage 1 fixed-costs payment due under the original version of the RTA protocol do not have to repay the money even though no action was then taken on their cases, the Court of Appeal has ruled.
MedCo issued 337 warning letters to users – and went on to suspend two-thirds of them – over the past year for behaviours such as circumventing the random search selection process and influencing medical experts’ opinions on diagnosis/prognosis, it has emerged.
The Association of Personal Injury has called for a “predictable claim process” for clinical negligence actions if the government goes ahead with its plan to impose fixed costs for cases worth up to £25,000. However, a survey has shown strong public support for fixed fees and for lawyers not receiving more in fees that patients did in compensation.
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.