The Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL) has urged the UK government not to rush into the radical changes which are due to be implemented in the UK personal injury compensation claims system. The changes will particularly affect the road traffic accident (RTA) portal system. Over the past two months, the government had initiated a call for evidence in order to evaluate how much money was being made by personal injury practitioners so it could make the changes accordingly. Accurate data collection was something which both the Law Society and the APIL volunteered with in order to put together a case demonstrating the costs and complexities of carrying out car accident compensation claims and other types of personal injury cases.
The concern is that media pressure regarding the so called ‘compensation culture’ will force the government to act hastily, meaning that personal injury lawyers well not realistically be able to continue their practices. A spokesperson for the APIL stated that the it had ‘serious concerns at the speed with which the reforms are progressing’. The spokesperson went on to state that the association had particular concerns over the aggressive timetable which appeared to be compromising the process, failing to allow sufficient time for independent data collection and analysis. It looks like there will not be proper time for procurement processes of new IT and insufficient time for build and testing the new systems.
These steps would be essential to successfully implementing adjustments to personal injury law. The APIL did not respond, however, on the governments call for recommended figures regarding the costs that lawyers should be able to recover from car accident compensation claims and other types of portal work. The current limit of road traffic accidents is £1,200 and was reached after two years of negotiation with the Association of British Insurers (ABI). The ABI also declined in submitting a recommended figure, stating only that the cost must come down. The Ministry of Justice last week confirmed that any potential changes to the portal system will be published towards the end of the summer. This is likely to be preceded by an independent report by Nottingham University on personal injury and car accident compensation claims
in England and Wales.