The New Personal Injury Online Court System Is Opening Soon, How Will It Work?
Posted on 12th March 2020
For some time now, people have been able to issue a claim for money, whether for debts owed, dispute over contractor’s bills or for refunds refused by a business, with the County Court online, using the Money Claims Online (MCOL) service. This is an online, electronic system that can be used for any claim for money valued up to £100,000.00. The first part of the process is done online, with the Claim Form being sent to the Court by the Claimant via a “portal” and the Defendant being able to file a Defence online too.
One exception has been for any claim involving personal injury which must currently still be issued the ‘old-fashioned’ way, by sending paper documents to the County Court Money Claims Centre. MG Legal, your personal injury solicitor Garstang, has seen numerous changes in the way Personal Injury claims are handled and dealt with by insurance companies and the Courts and we always ensure we are ahead of the curve so that any changes are no surprise and we can hit the ground running when these occur.
What is different for new Personal Injury claims to the current MCOL system?
Initially, there won’t be any real difference, a similar format of online claim form will be used the same way that the standard non-Personal Injury MCOL system works. You will be able to draft and file your claim form online, although there is expected to be a system for uploading supporting documents such as medical evidence or engineer’s reports as well.
As the system develops, there appear to be plans to expand the online process to include making counterclaims, filing and receiving Directions and Listings documents and preparing Trial bundles. The Court will still, ultimately, operate on paper for many aspects as there are limits to how far cases can be dealt with via a computer screen.
Is this just for Personal Injury claims?
No, other areas of law, particularly Family Law and Probate cases already have their own dedicated Portal and as time passes, we can fully expect that this will be the case for an ever growing number of areas of law. Many people in the legal professionals have advocated for and believe that virtual Courts are a way to save time and maximise the ever decreasing availability of the Judiciary, especially given the number of Courts which have been closed in the past decade.
How does this affect me?
The upcoming changes in the Personal Injury field are scheduled for 01st August 2020 currently, meaning that, for people involved in Road Traffic Accidents, recovering any legal costs for claims valued at under £5,000.00 will be removed entirely. The idea is that those with simple whiplash injuries will be able to deal with their own claim, via a new online Portal, which will apparently “dovetail” with the new online Court system.
Ultimately, an online system can only do so much and there is no substitute for the advice of an experienced firm of solicitors. Whilst the insurance industry is repeatedly lobbying for reduced solicitors fees and for reduced damages, in an effort to put off injured parties and solicitors alike, the truth is that people who are injured are still entitled to compensation and solicitors, like MG Legal, your personal injury solicitor Garstang, will still be around to act for them. We have no intention of ceasing to accept personal injury claims, whether from Road Traffic Accidents or other incidents, and it is highly unlikely that people will stop having car accidents.
What do I do if I have a personal injury claim?
Until 01st August 2020, at the earliest, there will be no change in the way Road Traffic Accident cases are handled and even after this, you will still be entitled to make a claim. All other types of claim will remain the same and so, please do get in touch with us as MG Legal, your local personal injury solicitor Garstang, to discuss how we can help you with your case.
We have offices in Garstang, Lancaster and Longridge and we are happy to hear from you by phone, email, web-contact form or in person if you wish to call in to the office. We accept personal injury cases on a Conditional Fee Agreement (no win, no fee agreement) to ensure that you have the access to justice and compensation that you deserve.
MG Legal – Your Local Solicitors
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