Road traffic personal injury claims

Peter MillingtonBusinesses can now fast-track certain road traffic personal injury claims following a change in legislation.

The Ministry of Justice (MoJ) has now introduced the fast-track process for claims valued between £1,000 to £10,000, and arising from accidents occurring on or after April 30, 2010 in England and Wales.

The new process will complete a widely-known programme of reform which was launched by the MoJ back in 2007. The fast track process aims to settle low value road traffic personal injury claims quickly and reduce legal costs.

The major changes to the process are that claims information will be shared electronically between solicitors and insurers, liability decisions should be made within 15 days as opposed to 90 under the previous protocol, and that legal costs will be fixed and recoverable on a staged basis.

It’s estimated that the fast track process will affect 85 per cent of motor personal injury claims – mainly whiplash incidents. Consequently, the new process will greatly affect the way in which the insurance industry handles a large proportion of claims. The average saving could be anything up to £1,800 for a claim under the new process.

The most important action that businesses can take is to ensure that they provide comprehensive and detailed accounts of any incidents at the outset and that any motor accident is reported to their insurers immediately.

Nowadays, most motor insurers have 24 hour claims-reporting facilities and businesses should use these straight away rather than wait until the following morning or even until after the weekend, if the accident occurs outside of normal business hours.

Peter Millington, business development manager for Taylor Patterson’s Corporate Insurance division.