Lord Chancellor Delays Extended RTA Portal Decision
LONDON, January 22, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --
The proposed RTA Portal extension has been delayed amid fears the plans had been rushed through.
Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State Chris Grayling is reported to have agreed that an extension of the RTA (Road Traffic Accident) portal to include employers' liability, public liability and higher Road Accident Claims will not materialise when previously claimed. The extension was originally planned to come into effect as of April 2013 but has been moved back indefinitely.
The original proposal which included extending the current RTA scheme to include claims up to £25,000 has been challenged by the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL) and the Motor Accident Solicitors Society (MASS) via a judicial review.
Both bodies supported the principle of increasing and extending the RTA portal but believed that the changes were not comprehensively thought out enough. The president of the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers, Karl Tonks explained: "We have said from the outset that we do not object in principle to the introduction of changes which speed up and improve the civil justice system for the benefit of all parties," said Karl. "Our concern in this instance, however, is that proper consideration of key issues was being sacrificed in favour of an impractical ambition to introduce extensions to the RTA portal by next April."
The pre-action protocols that were due to take place would only apply to accidents from 1 April 2013 or disease claims made after that date. It is believed that the technologies needed for the proposed changes would not be completed and available by the intended date. Furthermore the Civil Procedure Rule Committee has reportedly failed to approve the underlying protocols and rules.
Personal Injury Solicitors Walker Prestons echo the sentiments of APIL. Partner, Anser Amin explained: "It is great to see that common sense has finally prevailed and the plans to extend the Portal are not being rushed through without proper consultation. Consideration can now be given, not only to the technologies required to make the new system work, but also to the effect that the proposed changes will have on the industry as a whole.
"We currently see a great number of cases dropping out of the portal, especially those where the value of damages does not exceed £2000. Insurers applying this approach reduce the amount of legal fees they are required to pay under the Portal. There are some cases which exit the portal due to their complexity so that further investigations can be carried out by the insurers. EL and PL cases by their very nature are complex and will no doubt see a higher exit rate."
Walker Prestons are continuing to monitor the situation and will issue a further release as soon as any developments arise.
The Ministry of Justice is expected to comment further regarding if and when the portal extensions will go ahead.
About The Company:
Walker Prestons are a team of solicitors specialising in accident claims. The skilled personal injury solicitors help bring justice to those injured in accidents that were not their fault.
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