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A reader helpfully posted a comment on an earlier post mentioning the fact that the New RTA Claims Process start date as been put back to 30 April 2010. I have received the same information from a number of other reliable sources. The postponement appears to be due to problems with the electronic portal. The MoJ website did not, at the time of writing, have any announcement on the subject. The RTA PI Claims Process portal site has quietly changed the start date but made no specific mention of the change. This is no doubt due to the ironic fact that the tag line at the top of the web page has the words: "Will your business be ready to meet the deadline…". The ticking clock has also been wound back. Oh, the irony.
Now, when the new scheme does finally start, it will be largely run by junior claims handlers at the defendant end and paralegals at the claimant end. This is meant to be a simple scheme for low value RTA claims. The new rules are therefore no doubt designed to be easy to understand. If you have not seen them yet the draft rules can be viewed here: new rules for the RTA Claims Process.
Allowing for how simple these rules are meant to be, I’m going to pose a simple question. If the claimant is a child, damages are not agreed, the matter proceeds to a Stage 3 hearing and the claimant has beaten the defendant’s offer, the costs recoverable by the claimant are governed by the new CPR 45.34. So the question is: what costs are payable, and by virtue of which draft rule, to a claimant child where damages are not agreed, the matter proceeds to a Stage 3 hearing and obtains judgment for an amount equal to or less than the defendant’s offer?
First correct answer wins a bottle of champagne (but you won’t be able to win if you post anonymously). Remember, this is a very simple scheme and I’ll be very disappointed not to have a correct answer within 30 minutes of posting.