UK accident compensation claims – 10% uplift to general damages

Today saw confirmation from the Court of Appeal that with respect to all court judgements, which are made after April 1 next year, there will be an automatic uplift in compensation paid by way of general damages by 10%.

It is proposed that this increase should apply to all general damages granted in respect of nuisance, and other torts causing inconvenience, distress or suffering to anyone – but most importantly of all, the uplift also applies to general damages for pain, suffering and loss of amenity in accident conversation claims. The increase formed a key part of the recommendations of Lord Justice Jackson’s proposals for civil litigation reform.

Road Traffic Accidents Portal -government ignores own expert

The controversy about the proposed changes to the scope of the electronic portal for low value personal injury claims in road traffic accidents continues. The latest development follows the clear advice from Nottingham University’s Professor Paul Fenn in his eagerly anticipated report, when he made clear his belief that any proposed extension to the current portal scheme should only take effect following a complete assessment of the whole small claims process next year. Interestingly, he also added that the government’s current proposals to roll out the portal not only to road traffic accidents but also to employers liability and public liability cases, would have only a very limited effect on claims – on the basis that the vast majority of these sort of liability claims remain contested.

Professor Fenn’s report also noted that the much vaunted RTA protocol had, since its launch in 2010, in fact, reduced the average level of compensation awarded by 6%.

In the report, the professor recommended in particular that the whole RTA portal scheme should be jointly reviewed in 12 months, by which time there will be more data on the portal and its accompanying used of highly restricted fixed costs.

Responding to the report, the government showed no signs whatsoever of following the report’s recommendations or delaying the implantation of its plans to extend the scheme in anyway – in fact, the MoJ commented only that Professor Fenn’s report provided “important groundwork” to its plans to significantly expand the whole scope of the electronic portal fixed costs scheme.

Increase in UK road accident injury claims

Statistics just released by the Institute of Actuaries indicate that the number of UK road traffic accidents which involved some form of personal injury increased last year by a full 18% – and that in contrast, the actual number of compensation claims made dipped by 11%.

These figures prompted a strong response by the Motor Accidents Solicitors Society [ MASS] which claims that the an important factor in the rise was the heightened level of activity by claims management companies [CMCs]. Rounding on the behaviour of some rogue claims companies, MASS chair Donna Scully pointed out that although the Information Commissioner received around 25,000 complaints from the public about unsolicited text and cold calling from certain claims companies over a 12 month period, not a single prosecution was issued as a result. She also supported the suggestion by the Association of British Insurers for a compulsory medical examination of the claimant before any compensation is awarded.

Despite the referral fee ban and crackdown on no win no fee personal injury litigation expected next April, there are, as yet, no plans from the government to clamp down further on rogue claims management companies nor to introduce compulsory medical examinations.

More than one commentator has observed that despite record profits for various insurance companies including LV and Aviva, there is no suggestion that there will be any reduction in insurance premiums. Calls from some quarters of the industry for a complete ban on unsolicited text messaging, cold calls and television advertising for personal injury cases appear to have been ignored by the government.

Have you suffered a UK Road Accident Injury? Call FREEPHONE FREEPHONE 0800 1404544 for FREE compensation claim advice from our specialist Road Accident Injury Claim Solicitors.

MoJ “Cancels” 20% of claims management companies

In the last 12 months it has become apparent that the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) have closed down approximately 20% of claims management companies registered with the MoJ, according to extraordinary Ministry of Justice figures obtained by the Law Society Gazette.

734 separate claims management businesses have been confirmed by the MoJ as being “cancelled” in the year ending March 2012. Although on March 31, 2012, 3018 claims management companies were still registered with the MoJ – that compares with approximately 11,000 law firms in England and Wales. The closures of these firms were a result of 9570 public complaints relating to the behaviour of these claims management companies.

Also, it became apparent that the number of staff employed by the MoJ in relation to claims management regulation has increased by 25 2012. The MoJ has similarly estimated that the actual cost of regulating these (of which the regulation is financed by the companies themselves) increased to an astounding £2.5 million per annum, up 17%.

Predominantly selling on accident claim and medical negligence compensation leads to personal injury solicitors for a huge referral fee, claims management companies also sell on personal protection insurance claims and other areas of law, including employment law and a variety of other claims.

This website is entirely owned and run by Personal Injury Solicitors Bonallack and Bishop. We are proud that none of our accident compensation or medical negligence claim cases come from such claims management companies – we don’t pay for personal injury claims – as we simply don’t need to, and again unlike many other law firms, our personal injury claim caseload continues to grow. We have been concerned by the behaviour of many of these companies for some time – especially by the unnecessary level of costs they impose on all areas of law.

Our advice – avoid all claims management companies and for advice you can trust go straight to a reputable firm of specialist accident solicitors – like us !