Some time ago I was part of a committee reporting to what was then the Lord Chancellor’s Department – now the Ministry of Justice – on unregulated claims assessors. The BBC reported at the time it was set up that “An investigation is being carried out into allegations that consumers wanting to pursue legal action are being over-charged by people who are not qualified lawyers. The suggestion is that the growing numbers of consumers seeking compensation after accidents or employment disputes are being ripped off…”
Linea Directa v Segurcaixa is a straightforward subrogation claim between two insurers, but its facts make it unusual: the claim was made against a motor insurer for reimbursement of fire damage resulting from a parked car catching fire over 24 hours after it had last been driven.
Previous blogs about the European Court’s wide interpretation of the scope of compulsory insurance required by the Motor Insurance Directive (2009/103) have highlighted the court’s expansionist approach which runs through the case law since its key decision in Vnuk v Zararovalnica in 2014. This latest development is no exception to that.
The Judicial Studies Board for Northern Ireland has published the fifth Edition of the ‘Green Book’ following the recommendations of a Committee chaired by Lord Justice Stephens. Access to the online version of the Guidelines for the Assessment of General Damages in Personal Injury cases is available here.
The latest edition of the Guidelines provides an increase in the figures for most injuries by around 20%. Although this is certainly a significant one-off step change, it is the inevitable result of uprating the figures in the previous edition, published in 2013, to take account of inflation since then.