Stephanie Eedy looks at proposals to introduce new EL/PL pre action protocols and amend the existing RTA protocols, both due to commence in April 2013.
The Rt Hon Lord Dyson has commenced his consultation on the new pre action protocols for injury claims up to £25,000. The consultation will end on 23 November.
The proposals will amend the current Road Traffic Accident (RTA)protocol and introduce a new protocol for Employers Liability (EL)and Public Liability (PL)claims. Both will commence in April 2013 though many consider it unlikely that the technology will be ready at that time to implement them.
The following key aspects are not open for amendment:
- the fixed costs;
- exclusion of certain claims from the protocols;
- response period within stage 1 of the protocols.
The proposed amendments to the RTA protocol are as follows:
- extended to claims up to £25,000 for accidents occurring on/after 6th April 2013;
- portal usage is mandatory;
- Stage 1 costs payable within 10 days of receiving the Stage 2 settlement pack (the end to the ‘£400 Club’);
- in cases over £10,000 medical records to be disclosed with the medical report.
The main contents of the proposed EL/PL protocol:
- it will apply to all EL/PL claims up to £25,000 in value where the accident occurs on/after 1 April 2013 or in a disease claim where no letter of claim has been sent to the defendant before 1 April 2013;
- all PL disease claims and EL disease claims where there is more than one tortfeasor will fall outside the protocol;
- claims where contributory negligence is alleged will fall outside the process;
- deadline to investigate and admit liability is 30 days (EL) or 40 days (PL);
- duty to disclose medical records with report but the £10,000 distinction is not present.
Updates will follow after the consultation has closed.