Personal Injury News

A fixed fee system for road accident personal injury claims has been introduced in the UK.

The fixed fee system for personal injury road accident claims went live last week after several years of court battles between insurers and solicitors. Similar ADVERTISEMENT

arrangements need to be agreed for employers' liability and claims management companies' costs so the sector can once again properly focus on the needs of victims.

Insurers and solicitors in the UK have reached a landmark agreement on a fixed fee system for road traffic accident (RTA) personal injury claims settled for under GBP10,000. The agreement was brokered by the Civil Justice Council in December 2002, and has been brought into effect this week by the Department for Constitutional Affairs.

Under the agreement the success fee that a claimant lawyer can reclaim from an unsuccessful defendant insurer will be capped at 12.5% of their base costs in the vast majority of cases.

The agreement is being hailed as a big step forward for the sector. Since the government reformed the justice system in 1999 and abolished legal aid for personal injury claims, there have been almost continual battles between insurers and solicitors over the reasonable levels of success fees that solicitors can claim back from insurers.

This type of satellite litigation has combined with court battles over the amounts charged by claims management companies, such as The Accident Group and Claims Direct (LSE: CLA.L - news) [CLA.L], to create costly log jams in the court and severe uncertainty for all concerned. However, the Association of British Insurers has described the new agreement as 'sensible and pragmatic' and there are now hopes that personal injury RTA claims can be dealt with in a straightforward manner, without the headaches for all involved.

Thoughts are now turning to the troubled employers' liability sector, which has been subject to several government reviews, in the hope that a similar agreement can be made. It will certainly be a more complex agreement to reach, especially given the pressing need to establish reasonable amounts that can be charged by the claims management companies. Yet it is imperative that fee bandings are established to help avoid such lengthy court battles. With such a framework in place, the personal injury sector would then be free to focus properly on compensation and rehabilitation for the victims.

Article from Yahoo.co.uk - the home of Business Intelligence

 

 

 

 
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