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The main changes are:
The limit for personal injury caused by a road traffic accident in small claims increases from £1000 to £5,000.
Claims will be made through the new Official Injury Claim service (OIC Portal).
It is expected that claims taken using the portal will be by the injured people themselves without the help of a lawyer or claims management company.
Medical evidence must now be provided before any offer to settle.
The medical evidence has to come from MedCo if the only injuries are 'whiplash type' injuries (temporary damage to the soft-tissue around the neck and shoulders). If the claimant also received more serious injuries in the same accident the medical report can come from another doctor listed on the General Medical Council.
The new rules create a new pre-action protocol (called Pre-action protocol for personal injury claims below the small claims limit in road traffic accidents) for claims that
- are caused by an accident on or after 31st May, and
- include an amount for compensation of personal injury, and
- Are valued by the claimant as less than £10,000 with no more than £5,000 for personal injury (other £5000 might come from repairing damage to the car, car hire charges, loss of earnings, small amount for psychological harm, additional expenses caused by the injury like prescriptions).
Where the claimant is a ‘vulnerable road user’ (motorcyclists, cyclists, wheelchair or mobility scooter user, or pedestrian), a child, or the claim involves an untraced driver, they don’t use this new portal or have to use the pre-action protocol.
More to come soon.