Ministry of Justice officials have recently confirmed that reforms affecting the personal injury sector will be implemented in April 2019.
It has been reported by the Motor Accidents Solicitor’s Society (MASS) that the main focus, at first, will be on the implementation of changes regarding Road Traffic Accident (RTA) claims, with later plans for personal injury reforms.
Plans to bring in this bill at the same time as the new £5,000 small claims limit for RTA claims is bad news for claimants.
President of the Law Society, Joe Egan, said: “These changes will mean people injured through no fault of their own will struggle to get justice.”
Brett Dixon, President of APIL, has shone some light upon the seemingly negative plans by pointing out the more hopeful fact that ministers have at least taken on board arguments regarding the importance of bringing in these new changes gradually in stages, rather than immediately implementing all the changes at once. This includes public liability claims and employers’ liability.
Mr Dixon believes that this is ‘unwelcome news to injured people’, but he offers positive reassurance by saying that APIL will give their best efforts to help to safeguard access to justice for injured people.
These proposed reforms also pose the danger of many practices losing staff and claimants being prejudiced for genuine injuries.
Furthermore, this new small claims limit would effectively eliminate the possibility of solicitors recovering their costs for cases worth less than £5,000.
James Hardy, Personal Injury Paralegal at Wosskow Brown, said: “the main problem is the lack of access to justice that the reforms will cause.”
Mr Hardy explained that this problem is likely to arise due to solicitors being unable to recover their costs, meaning that claimants may be forced to represent themselves in court.