How Our Personal Injury Solicitors Are Dealing With Changes To The Civil Liabilities Act
Posted on 31st March 2020
MG Legal, your personal injury solicitor in Longridge, has long been watching the effects of the Civil Liabilities Act 2018, which is set to change the way Road Traffic Accident (RTA) personal injury claims are handled. Many firms are being put off continuing to offer this service to clients due to the impending cuts to recoverable costs, with Redde Plc, parent company for National firm NewLaw, the latest to stop offering this service.
What are the cuts under the Civil Liabilities Act?
Basically, any soft tissue injury arising from an Road Traffic Accident, valued at less than £5000.00 will no longer be eligible for recoverable costs, meaning insurers will still be liable to pay damages, albeit on a lower, fixed scale but they do not have to pay anything towards personal injury solicitor’s legal fees. It will still be necessary to obtain medical evidence; indeed it will become a requirement as Pre-Medical offers are to be banned at the same time.
What does this mean for clients?
Your choices remain the same, you may either pursue the claim yourself, or instruct an experienced specialist personal injury solicitor such as MG Legal. The difference is that the damages you will recover will be the only recoverable monies and so, your solicitor will need to be paid from those damages.
Why should I pay a solicitor if I can do it myself?
The Lawmakers can make it sound like a system will be designed for the layperson all they want, the truth is that any individual who is not represented will still be going up against the multi-billion pound insurance industry to bring their claim.
Whilst there will be a ‘fixed price’ matrix for injuries up to 24 months duration, it is getting to that point that presents difficulties. The insurance industry has been around for hundreds of years and they have had decades to arm themselves with every tool possible to Defend claims arising from Road Traffic Accident based personal injury.
Will the insurance company not be more likely to pay out if they have less to pay out?
Not really, no, they are if anything more likely to not pay out as they know that it will be up to you, the layperson, to fight them, all the way to a Trial at the County Court if not. For example, a current case MG Legal, your personal injury solicitor in Longridge, is handling is awaiting Trial, despite the evidence being clearly in favour of our client.
The example that is likely to become the norm
The incident is a Road Traffic Accident, where the client was hit from the rear whilst stationary at traffic lights. The impact was enough to throw our client forward violently enough to wedge his foot between two of the pedals. The Fire Brigade had to be called to free our client and the driver of the Defendant vehicle called the Ambulance Service for our client. Medical evidence has given a modest prognosis (now long passed) for recovery of a few months, so there is no hint of over-exaggeration. If settled prior to issue of Court proceedings, legal fees would be approximately £700.00. An ‘open and shut case’ right? Wrong. The Defendant is fully disputing that our client could have been injured, they have asked for all of the client’s medical notes, letters from their employer, posed formal questions to the client and medical expert and all that remains is for the case to go to Trial.
Is there any prospect of an individual succeeding against this approach?
Yes, the Court must decide a case on its merits, but half the battle is seeing, anticipating and countering the Defendant’s actions. The Defendant relies on the case-law of Casey v Cartwright and Kearsley v Klarfeld, both easy to find on the internet, but not so easy to counter without experience and this plethora of different angles is what the insurance companies will bank on, that the individual will not cover and counter each of them, allowing one Defence to succeed even if some fail.
Will the insurer still use legal representatives?
Definitely, insurance companies have a wide array of legal duties to perform and so it is no great loss for them to employ various in-house personal injury solicitors and retain barristers on annual retainers, meaning they can benefit from economies of scale you, as the individual, cannot. They only have to successfully Defend around two dozen personal injury claims, potentially less, on the new fixed scale to pay for each solicitor for a year.
How will my case be funded?
MG Legal, your personal injury solicitor in Longridge, will always ensure our terms are as favourable as possible. Currently, the fixed fee system permits the deduction of up to 25% from client’s damages and so, deductions from damages will not be anything new. To ensure it is worthwhile for both parties, we will offer the best possible terms available, always ensuring that you receive the majority of your award for the injury. We will continue, despite the changes, to be your local personal injury solicitors, and seek justice for those injured as a result of someone else’s negligence.
Should I still make a personal injury claim for RTA related soft tissue injuries?
Without doubt, yes, because if you have been injured as a result of something that was not your fault, you deserve the compensation. The fixed scale only covers General Damages, your award for the injury itself, so any other losses such as lost earnings, vehicle damage, medication costs and care costs will still be recoverable too. With one award, come the others and so, despite the insurance industry trying to put you off, we fail to see why they should succeed and make you bear your own losses.
When do these changes come in?
Currently, they are expected to come in for any RTA occurring on or after 01st August 2020, should this change then the current scale of recoverable costs will remain in force.
Why are MG Legal not following the bigger companies in stopping RTA work?
We pride ourselves on being here for our local clients, we value each one of you and we want to continue to offer our services in the future. We do our best to offer all our services, whether personal injury, conveyancing, family or wills on an affordable basis to ensure that there is a reliable, affordable and professional legal representative for everyone.
How do I instruct MG Legal?
Simply call, email, send a call-back request via our website or see any of our offices in Longridge, Garstang or Lancaster and we will look to put you in touch with the right member of the team. Our Personal Injury clients will always be offered a “no win, no fee” option and the vast majority of other types of instruction are, generally, offered on a fixed fee basis. Get in touch with MG Legal, your personal injury solicitor in Longridge, to discuss how we can help you and we will look to get the ball rolling the same day.
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