The Pre-Action Protocol (PAP) and the Practice Direction (PD) for the whiplash and small claims reforms were released on Friday, just a day after the whiplash damages tariff was finalised. It is important to note that the new PAP – The RTA Small Claims PAP, available here – covers all road traffic injury claims which fall under the new small track limit of £5,000 (for the injury) and are subject to an overall maximum claim value of £10,000. It will be mandatory for qualifying claims to follow the new PAP procedures, which will be brought to operational life via the www.officialinjuryclaim.org.uk (OIC) Portal.
We set out some early thoughts on the new RTA SCP below. We’ll be developing these views and presenting them in online briefings to be arranged over the new few weeks – please get in touch if you would like to be involved.
The minutes of the Rule Committee’s February meeting show some progress on holiday sickness claims. The core idea to extend fixed recoverable costs to these cases has been on its agenda since late last year, following the Ministerial announcement last year.
Proposed changes to fixed costs (CPR Part 45) seek to apply PL costs to these cases. A relevant pre-action protocol (PAP) is still in draft form – very probably based on the general personal injury PAP – and being worked up between the Committee and the Civil Justice Council. Some CPR points also need clarification, for example the application of Part 36 offers and the overlap with small claims (Part 27).
The recently published February minutes strongly suggest that the intention is still to bring the changes into force this April. Minutes are not yet available from the 2 March meeting and the next meeting takes place on 13 April. Given that a statutory instrument – which has to follow a defined Parliamentary timetable – is required to change rules on procedure and costs, there is some possibility that the proposed introduction of fixed costs for holiday sickness claims in April 2018 could slip. We will report any further developments soon as we can.
Co-written by Alistair Kinley, BLM’s director of policy and government affairs, and partner Sarah Hill