Road Traffic Accidents
We are able to help with some claims for injuries and loss after a car accident but if the accident was after 31 May 2021 the situation has become a little more tricky.
Hattons Solicitors have been helping claimants to bring claims for damages for injuries and financial loss after a car accident since we opened in business in 2001 and have been proud of our record in helping thousands of people along the way.
At Hattons Solicitors we were very concerned by the effect of the Government’s plans to try to save the insurance companies share holders money at the expense of honest claimants who we know are deserving of injury and the help of a solicitor to make sure that they get the compensation they deserve.
Sadly from the end of May 2021 there have been new rules brought in that aim to limit damages that accident victims can claim and seeks to exclude solicitors from the claims process.
It is worth contacting us using the form below for free initial advice on whether we can help or what direction your case should take.
The new “Protocol” for dealing with such cases can be found in Practice Direction 27 B of the Civil Procedure Rules.
It is a complex path that the Government expect a claimant to follow without the help of a lawyer and unrepresented against the insurance company of the person who caused the accident using an online Portal to bring the claim and then at various stages to possibly have a Judge decide on discrete points of procedure and law as the case proceeds.
Cases may find that during their journey through the new portal they leave for a Court determination and return to the portal to proceed to the next stages and all this is set out in the Practice direction that can be accessed on the Ministry of Justice Website.
BAD FOR CLAIMANTS
There are two ways that the new system cuts cost or the insurers .
Firstly the Small Claims Court limit is raised to encompass injuries claims involving whiplash. It used to be the case that only claims worth under £1000 for injury were included in the small claims track. Now the limit is £5000.
The second blow to claimants is the creation of a “Tarif system” for injuries that is now awarding claimant’s much lower amounts than were awarded prior to 31 May 2021.
The reductions are drastic and because of the case being within the small claims limit it means that the winner does not get their legal costs paid.
This means that legal costs would need to be paid by a claimant to their own solicitor which in turn really that it is not cost effective for a claimant to pay a lawyer and so the claimant is left to go it alone very often with lost whiplash claims.
To give an example pre May 21 for a whiplash claim lasting say 3 months an award of around £2300 would be made. That same case is now worth just 240 , it goes up by just £20 if the claimant suffers psychological injuries!!
SOME GOOD NEWS…
ACTING ON A NO WIN NO FEE DAMAGES BASED AGREEMENT
We are hoping to be able to confirm very soon that we can help with the more involved injuries even if they stay within this new system if the injuries are more long lasting and are mixed with other non whiplash injuries where the damages will be high enough to allow for us to offer some kind of service to support claimants on a no win no fee basis for a percentage of damages under a Damages Based Agreement that is sustainable. We will publish an update on our website very soon on this .
NOT ALL CAR ACCIDENT CASES ARE INCLUDED
THIS IS WHAT IS SAID IN THE RULES:-
This Protocol applies where a claimant who has suffered personal injuries (including but not limited to whiplash injuries) because of a road traffic accident wishes to make a claim for compensation and the amount claimed for their injuries is not more than £5,000 and for their overall claim is not more than £10,000. This would mean that, if the claim was dealt with by a court, it would be normally be allocated to the small claims track and dealt with as a small claim.
The protocol will NOT apply :
(a) Where the Claimant is a pedestrian;
(b) where the injuries which are claimed for were at least partly caused by a breach by the defendant of one or more of the relevant provisions as defined by section 53 of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974;
(c) to the MIB (Motor Insurance Bureau) pursuant to the Untraced Drivers’ Agreement 2017 or any subsequent or supplementary Untraced Drivers’ Agreements (this agreement applies where a claim involves an accident with a driver who has not been identified – also known as a “hit and run” – this new Protocol should not be used when making such a claim);
(d) To vulnerable road users (motor cyclists, pillion/sidecar passengers, pedal cyclists, horse riders or those using mobility scooters);
(e) Where the claimant or defendant acts as a personal representative of a deceased person;
(f) Where on the date the claim is started, the claimant is a child;
(g) Where the claimant or defendant is a protected party as defined in rule 21.1(2); ( so eg people who do not have mental capacity to act for themselves)
(h) Where the claimant is bankrupt; or
(i) Where the defendant’s vehicle is registered outside the United Kingdom.
In these situations the old rules apply and we can help like we have done for years often on a no win no fee basis . Fill in the form to contact us to check if we can help.
IF YOU START THE CASE UNDER THE NEW PORTAL YOURSELF WE MAY BE ABLE TO HELP AT A LATER STAGE
There are a number of situations where a case may be commenced within the new portal but have a forced exit. These are:
(a) either party notifies the other through the Portal that the claim has been revalued and that they reasonably believe the overall claim is more than £10,000 or the claim for damages for injury is more than £5,000;
(b) either the claimant or defendant becomes a protected party
(c) the compensator (usually an insurers) notifies the claimant through the Portal that the claim is unsuitable for this Protocol because there are complex issues of fact or law;
(d) the compensator through the Portal makes an allegation of fraud or fundamental dishonesty against the claimant in respect of their claim;
(e) the compensator disputes or continues to dispute under paragraph 8.9 that the accident caused the claimant any injury following disclosure of a medical report; or
(f) the court makes an order in proceedings that the claim must exit the Portal and be added to those proceedings.
MORE SERIOUS ACCIDENTS
One of the thing we pride ourselves on is having the knowledge and experience of being able to advise claimants who have been very seriously injured or even to help the representatives of accident victims who have lost their life. For serious injurie cases these new reforms do not apply and we can work with you to secure a claim that can be complex to navigate and =may cover many aspects such as damages for los earnings or future earnings as you cannot work the same or at all de to injuries or medical expenses , care or property damages. All these things need expert hep to investigate and evaluate and we can help usually o a no win no fee basis so please complete the form below to check out if we can help you get the compensation you deserve
If you would like to find out more about Road Traffic Accidents call our expert legal team on 01744 744400, fill out our contact form below or contact our key person: