McHale & Co. Solicitors Blog

Jackson reforms gather pace

Accident claims have changed greatly over the last 2 years with reforms brought in by Lord Chancellors department via Lord Justice Jackson and his team. Prior to 1st April 2013 claims had been dealt with efficiently but it was thought by the profession that legal costs had not been dealt with properly under those reforms.

There were many examples of the costs far outweighing the damages and the important concept of proportionality in Lord Woolf's reforms had been lost mainly due to the combination of lack of expertise in some claimant lawyers but also due to the delaying tactics of defendant lawyers. Claimant lawyers are represented largely through APIL ( association of Personal Injury Lawyers) and defendants through their equivalent FOIL. Both these bodies are supposed to confer and whilst representing their respective members appropriately come up with a workable scheme between them. This has not always been the case.

As a result of the latest Jackson reforms brought in from 1st April 2013 onwards costs have been further driven down with fixed costs on most cases and limited disbursement costs allowed. The worry is that lawyers will have to cut corners to make such cases economically viable and mistakes may thereafter follow.

A recent introduction (October 2014) is in relation to experts. From April 2015 onwards medical experts who are to be instructed on a whiplash case have to be registered on the insurance funded Medco. Medco requires experts to pay £15,000 to register on the site as an expert. A fixed fee of £180 will be allowed. It is anticipated that there may be insufficient experts to produce such reports and there are also fears that the experts will not cover all the relevant issues.

It is expected that the value of claims will decrease as many defendant minded doctors will be registered on Medco. Therefore it is crucial to get an experienced solicitor to assist with your claim.

McHale and Co has a highly experienced team, headed up by Malcolm Horner who has over 30 years experience dealing with personal injury cases. Malcolm is a Fellow of APIL, there are less than 180 APIL Fellows nationwide.

Categories: Personal Injury

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