The day before the Easter weekend the Ministry of Justice published a brief consultation paper on medical reporting options under the whiplash reform programme, including the increase in the small claims limit.
The central proposal is to expand the MedCo scheme to cover obtaining initial medical reports in all motor injury small claims, whether or not the claimant is legally represented. The short period for responses – to 17 May 2019 only – might indicate some renewed momentum within the MoJ given that April 2020 appears to remain its preferred date for implementing the whiplash programme and building the necessary IT platform.
Line-by-line scrutiny of the measures in the Civil Liability Bill – which will reform whiplash claims and re-set the legal basis for determining the discount rate – is due to take place in the Lords at Committee stages scheduled for 10 and 15 May. A raft of relevant materials has emerged over the last few days and is summarised in this post. There are three key documents: the new draft whiplash regulations, a letter from Justice Minister Lord Keen to Peers and the list of proposed amendments tabled to date. Continue reading
On 16 July 2015 the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) announced a formal review of the operational framework of MedCo. The review, which the MoJ clearly says “is starting earlier than planned”, comes just over 100 days after the mandatory arrangements for obtaining medico-legal reports in whiplash claims via MedCo took effect in early April. The Minister in charge, Lord Faulks QC, stated that “a number of new business practices have developed in this sector with the potential to undermine both the Government’s policy objectives and public confidence in MedCo.” MoJ has requested submissions by 4 September.