Ministry Of Justice Reforms: What They Mean For Personal Injury Claimants

You’ve probably heard that changes are afoot when it comes to making personal injury claims. The changes, known in their official capacity as the ‘Ministry of Justice Reforms’, have been brought in to try and combat the compensation culture, to balance legal costs and to help insurers pass on savings through lower premiums. 

As part of the reforms, a new system was introduced in 2010 for the reporting of all road traffic accident personal injury claims with values between £1,000 and £10,000. The system calls for claims to be reported via an online portal, with strict timescales and fixed legal fees for each stage of the process.

Personal Injury Claims up to £25,000 Now Included in New System

This year, the upper limit for motor personal injury claims has been increased to £25,000 and the portal reporting system will extend to public and employers’ liability personal injury claims up to the same value, providing no contributory negligence is alleged and the claim does not concern more than one defendant, mesothelioma or clinical negligence.

The strict deadlines for admitting or disputing liability mean that we will have to supply all the information related to an incident as quickly as possible to the insurer. This will in turn allow them time to investigate liability and agree a settlement faster. Solicitors will in future notify claims up to the new financial limit using Claim Notification Forms.

Driving Down Legal Costs for Reduced Insurance Premiums

It’s estimated that around 40% of the costs of a claim are legal costs. The newly introduced fixed legal fees will go towards reducing this figure, as will the reduced timescales for settling a claim.

Our Message to Clients

It’s obviously vital to stay within the strict timescales when dealing with a claim, so our message is: report your claim – whether actual or potential – to us immediately, ensure the information you give us is 100% accurate and complete and get all the requested documentation to us by the deadlines we stipulate.

If you receive a Claim Notification Form (CFN) it is most important to deal with it on the day of receipt as follows:

  1. Acknowledge receipt of the CFN to the solicitor and advise them it has been sent to the insurer. Make sure, however, that no comment is made on the claim itself.
  2. Send the CFN to Robert Gerrard immediately marked URGENT.

Remember, the clock starts ticking on the first business day after information has been sent to the defendant / insurer.

We’re hopeful that lower insurance premiums will result from the reforms, if implemented fully.