Portal Published

And so the statutory instrument enabling the Pre-action Protocol for Low Value Road Traffic Accident, Employers Liability and Public Liability claims has been published meaning it goes live on 31st July 2013.

It covers all claims where damages are between £1,000 and £25,000, and where the CNF is submitted on or after 31st July.

It would have been nice of the rule makers to publish the pre-action protocols to ensure nothing has changed since the draft issued months ago, but that would be too easy.

In the meantime, insurers are getting evidence ready to say that unless an MRI scan can show whiplash claims, then they do not exist. Perhaps the better way would be to line up the insurance executives in their cars and arrange for a controlled car crash to happen-see how long they suffer for.

The only reason for the changes is to allow the insurers to return more dividend to the shareholders and nothing to do with reducing premiums. If it was to do the latter, insurers would employ people with experience to fight unmeritorious claims. As it is, given the dumbing down down of claims, it is arguably easier to progress dodgy claims as no one is there to identify those claims.

Alternative way of looking at it is one big firm of claims handlers fights mesothelioma cases to the doors of court on behalf of the liability insurers and notwithstanding good evidence in support of the defence, caves in. They do it everytime. Why then fight it, causing considerable costs liability to be incurred knowing they will cave in shortly before trial. Why not pay up early or fight to court – not fight then cave in and whine about costs! But its the claimant solicitors who are portrayed to the government as the villains.

Next thing will be Keoghs complaining that there is a lot more cases going to court and they cannot understand why!

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Portal Expansion

We are a few weeks away from major upheaval to Employers and Public Liability claims, extension to the portal for RTA claims up to £25,000 and no sign of any rules.

Those who say that we’ve had draft rules are deluded to think this is acceptable. The original proposal was that Stage 3 of the portal was to be commenced when the Court Proceedings Pack was sent to the opponent and yet when the rules were finalised, some ‘drafter’ had for whatever reason decided to state Stage 3 commenced once all the work had been done and when the pack was sent to the Court, thus depriving the Claimant of Stage 3 costs in many cases where the Defendant came to their senses and caved in.

Speaking of badly drafted rules, those who prepared the rules governing budgets should be made to sit in a room and draft 10 budgets and not be allowed out until they have done so, and see then if they think the budgets are a good idea and the format well thought out.  I have the opinion of the local judiciary still ringing in my ear, and it echoes a message posted by Andrew Hogan on his linked in page.

Apologies to those regular readers for not providing many updates – been in the locked room and not allowed out until the budgets were complete.