It is not pleasant to be injured in a road traffic accident but for those who are unfortunate enough to be a victim, there is some good news on the horizon.  As from the 30 April 2010 a new streamlined process is being introduced to benefit those who are injured through no fault of their own.  The aim of the new process is to dispose of claims quickly and cost effectively where there is no dispute that another party is liable and they are insured.  The new procedure will relate to claims of between £1,000.00 and £10,000.00 containing an element of personal injury.

There are three key stages to claims brought within the process :-

Stage 1

A claim notification form is completed and sent electronically to the other party’s Insurer who then has 15 business days to respond with a decision on liability.

Stage 2

Where liability is admitted, the Claimant’s Solicitor puts together a settlement pack consisting of a Medical Report and details of other claims e.g loss of earnings.  The pack is sent to the Insurer along with an offer to settle the entire claim.  The Insurer has 15 business days to accept or reject the offer and make any counter-offer.

If the claim is settled at this stage that is the end of the process.  The Insurer is obliged to pay certain fixed costs to the Claimant’s Solicitors together with any success fee recoverable under a Conditional Fee Agreement entered into between Solicitor and Claimant.

Stage 3

Where the amount of damages cannot be agreed the parties can ask the Court to determine the amount.  This involves an exchange and submission of pro-forma documents to the Court.  The Judge will determine the level of damages by considering the paperwork.  The Judge can direct or either party can request an oral hearing.

At the end of this process there are further fixed costs payable by the Insurer to the Claimant’s Solicitors.

If you wish to pursue a claim please contact either Geoffrey Lamb, the Head of our Dispute Resolution Department, who will be happy to provide more detailed information.