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.