What Does the New Personal Injury Claims Portal Mean for You?
In 2013 the 'claims portal' changed the way many personal injury claims are made
. You may not have heard about it, but it could affect you. This guide explains the changes made to personal injury claims, and how your claim will progress.
What is the Personal Injury Claims Portal?
In July 2013 the Government put in a new system for Employers Liability
(accidents at work) and Public Liability Claims
(such as accidents that occur in a place open to the public), with a value of between £1,000 and £25,000
. If you have had an accident on or after 31st July 2013, this applies to you.
For those with an industrial disease or disability
as a result of their working conditions (usually from long exposure to a noxious substance such as carbon monoxide or from continuous repetition of certain acts) that occur as a result of more than one event
. The protocol will apply to anyone who has not filed their claim with the court after 31st July
The portal also introduces a cap on the amount of fees a solicitor can recover
from the other side. If a case remains within the claims process, then the maximum costs are £900 for claims for £10,000 or under
, and £1,600 for those over £10,000 and under £25,000
. Finally, tight time limits
also apply to both sides, requiring those involved to file paperwork at each stage of the process within the time limits that are often far stricter than those in place before, and with harsher penalties for failing
to file the paperwork in time.
What This Means for 'Personal' Injury
The fact that the new claims portal is computerised will mean that a lot of documentation can be uploaded
, and more work can be done online rather than in writing. This can speed up the process
and open up new forms of communication with your solicitor.
The strict time limits will also mean that a personal injury claim made through the portal will be dealt with faster
than it would have been before. There will be less time for a sufferer to wait for a response from the insurance company involved.
The cap on solicitors fees has the potential to restrict access to justice as many law firms have turned away
from dealing with personal injury claims, especially those which are perceived to be low value
, below £5000 to solicitors. The fee cap does not realistically reflect the work done in each case by a personal injury solicitor on behalf of their client. This will inevitably affect the quality of work done at many law firms and some will move to a 'conveyer belt' approach
to handling personal injury claims. Solicitors are able to claim payment for legal fees from clients and it is likely that this will become the norm.
Under the new rules, solicitors should work harder to provide the quality of service each case deserves, and we believe we are able to do this.