The Ministry of Justice has just announced (see letter) that claimant and defendant representatives have “reached broad agreement on the detail” of the new Claims Process for RTA personal injury claims with a value of between £1,000 and £10,000.
The Civil Justice Council has mediated an agreement on the fixed recoverable costs which will depend on which stage of the new process each case reaches. The agreed fixed costs are:
- £400 for Stage 1 (the claimant solicitor completes the claim notification form and sends it to the insurer who may admit/deny liability);
- £800 for Stage 2 (where liability is admitted, the claimant obtains a medical report and the process continues with offers and negotiation of a settlement to a strict timetable); and
- £250 paper hearing / £500 oral hearing for Stage 3 (where the parties cannot agree a settlement and the case goes to court).
The draft rules, practice directions and pre-action protocols have yet to be drafted (and the devil will be in the detail) but the implementation date being aimed for is April 2010.
Another chunk of work is likely to be lost to costs professionals as a result of these changes.