January 4, 2013
With just weeks to go before the proposed extension of the
road accident claims
process to include other injury claims was due to come into effect, the move is now being reconsidered.
The proposal to extend the 'RTA portal' claims system to include higher-value motor and employer's and public claims has been criticised by many as rushed and ill-conceived since it was first announced. Now, following a legal challenge to several of the proposed changes, lawyers representing the Government have said that the Secretary of State for Justice
has accepted that the decision to implement the changes in April this year "cannot stand."
, a partner with Fentons
Personal Injury Solicitors
LLP and president of the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL), welcomed the news as a victory for common sense.
"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 association instigated a judicial review process into proposed legal changes, and it is understood that as a result of this, the Secretary of State will consider afresh when the extended protocol will be implemented. The outcome of his deliberations will not be known until sometime this year.
Earlier in 2012 - following a call for evidence on proposals to extend the streamlined process for lower value RTA claims - APIL warned that unless proper time was taken to prepare the foundations for an extension, then the measures would seem doomed to fail.