Accident Advice Helpline’s managing director Darren Werth gives his thoughts on Ken Clarke’s civil justice reforms, as announced in the Commons yesterday:
“Following the close of the consultation on February 14th, I was totally bewildered at Tuesday’s announcement bearing in mind the Ministry of Justice had received in excess of 600 responses to the Green Paper, plus statistical evidence. It seems most unlikely that each one of those responses could have been given the appropriate consideration they deserved which, coupled with the Ministry’s lack of hard evidence from an impact study, could only lead me to deduct that the full implementation of the Jackson report was somewhat pre-determined.
The unintended consequences of this are all going to impact the deserving claimant and affect their access to justice. By extending the RTA portal into employer’s liability, public liability and low value clinical negligence claims together with the raising of the fast track claims limits means that 95% of claims will now be dealt with in this manner- how can the Ministry justify these wholesale changes to the system for 5% of the remaining claims- it is totally disproportionate.
Claims management companies and lawyers are being blamed for the rising cost of insurance premiums but as the Transport Committee identified it is the insurers who are the largest generators of referral fees (without the consent of their policy holders) and in reality if they hadn’t priced their premiums incorrectly over the last 5 years on the aggregator sites trying to gain market share then they wouldn’t have been left looking for someone else to blame.
There are too many unanswered questions and far more work that needs to be done prior to any sort of implementation.”