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Important legal changes to system for personal injury claims

The Lord Justice Jackson Review on civil litigation and the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) consultation on the civil justice reforms relating to low value personal injury claims are being implemented in April.

The reforms represent the largest overhaul to the personal injuries legal framework in England and Wales in over a decade and are intended to bring more balance to the civil litigation system by:
• Making lawyers costs proportionate
• Combating the compensation culture
• Creating an environment where claims costs savings will lower premiums

There are some very technical changes such as setting solicitors fixed fees for work undertaken and the introduction of a MoJ portal for claims processing, but the changes that will be more apparent to consumers are:

After the Event legal expense premiums will no longer be recoverable

After the event insurance is often a mechanism by which no win no fee solicitors were able to offer such services. It was a way of underwriting their costs should the litigation they undertook on behalf of a consumer fail. As a result, consumers may see much less no win no fee services

Banning referral fees

The payment of referral fees has become endemic with even some hospitals referring injured parties to a compensation service. This type of referral, where the referrer receives money will no longer be legal. It might stop you receiving so many annoying text messages too.

Among other changes are limits on the amount that can be claimed, particularly with regard to injuries such as whiplash.

How will these changes affect you?

It is important that people claiming provide fast and accurate claims notifications, including:
• Notifying actual or potential claims immediately
• Ensuring information given is accurate and complete
• Submitting all relevant documentation within shorter timescales
• Delivering immediate assistance with liability investigation
• Supporting quick decisions on liability

Summary

These changes should be positive for people making a claim, as it will be a faster and a much less painful experience. Even non-claimants should benefit in the longer term as reduced fraud and extraneous legal fees produce more competitive insurance premiums.

What to do next

If you’d like more information, or would like us to review your cover please call our experts now.

Call 01789 761670

 

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