Whiplash Portal Rules published
Commenting on the publication of the civil procedure rules for the Official Injury Claim (OIC) portal yesterday 25.02.21), Matthew Maxwell Scott, executive director of ACSO, said:
“This has been a huge task for the judiciary and the MoJ team and it’s good to see the rules finally appear. Nevertheless, we still await the Pre-Action Protocol and Practice Direction, and pending their publication our members have very little time to prepare fully for the portal launch at the end of May.
“We are pleased that ministers have held off on increasing the limit for non-RTA claims such as employer liability and public liability, leaving the limit for these claims at £1K. Injury claims fell dramatically during 2020 and were falling before then anyway.
“The MoJ has also heeded ACSO’s concerns with regards to fair treatment for vulnerable road users and has decided against increasing the small claims limit for this group.
“The decision to remove entirely the small claims limit for children and protected parties and direct all their claims into the fast track is a good short-term fix, but we need to know what the long-term plans are for these types of injured person.
“Looking ahead, we must all work together to make sure the portal succeeds. That includes making rapid changes if the consumer experience of the new system proves a challenging one, not just at launch date but also beyond it. Cooperation between all sides will be a vital part of this process.
“Greater clarity on rehabilitation is certainly needed, as is the inclusion of an alternative dispute resolution mechanism. Without it, we’re going to see long delays before cases get to court and an imbalance of arms between claimants and defendant insurers.”
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