Have you suffered a minor injury in a Road Traffic Accident? Well, from April 2020 you will probably have to represent yourself!!
At present money or property claims worth under £10,000 and personal injury claims worth less than £1,000 are dealt with in the Small Claims Court. You may have heard of the Small Claims Court as people tend to represent themselves rather than instructing legal representation – it’s thought that legal representation shouldn’t be required for such low value, non-complex claims and so, legal costs cannot be recovered from the other side even if you win your claim.
For personal injury claims worth over £1,000 (which are all but the most minor injuries), claims are pursued in the Online Government Portal and successful Claimants can recover a portion of their legal costs from the other party to the claim. This allows Solicitors to offer Claimant’s a ‘No Win No Fee’ arrangement; meaning they will bring your personal injury claim for you without you having to pay anything up front because they will be able to recover their fee from the other side at the end of the case.
However, in a bid to curb the ‘compensation culture’ and reduce insurance premiums, the Government plan to increase the Small Claims limit from April 2020. This means that any personal injury claims arising out of road traffic accidents (RTAs) that are worth under £5,000 will be allocated to the Small Claims Court and so, it follows the legal costs will no longer be recoverable from the Defendant for these claims. For all other personal injury claims, the limit will be increased to £2,000.
The result is that many people, particularly those suffering whiplash type injuries, will be forced to ‘bring’ their own personal injury claims and represent themselves at Court unless they want to pay for legal advice out of their own pocket. The Motor Insurers Bureau are currently testing a new online system which they have designed for unrepresented Claimants (Litigants-in-person) to pursue RTA claims; the system is expected to ‘go live’ in April 2020.
For advice on making a personal injury or clinical negligence claim, contact us on 0161 624 5614 to arrange a free, no obligation consultation.