Whiplash, small claims & medical reporting – new consultation

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.

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State of the nations

At the start of 2016, this very short post seeks to draw out and compare the critical civil legal issues currently under debate in the jurisdictions in which we and our customers operate. At a high level, the aims and themes appear noticeably similar: to ensure access to justice and to reform and modernise the procedures and costs associated with making claims.

One noticeable point of contrast is that whereas a good deal of activity and reform in England, Scotland and Northern Ireland is either judicially-led or follows a report by a senior judge, the changes under discussion in the Irish Republic are much more clearly in the form of political initiatives. Continue reading

Guidelines for general damages: “In recent years, any change to the recorded margin of awards has been as the result of inflation”

Lord Justice Waller made the above comment in 2008 in his foreword to the 9th edition of the judicial guidelines for awards of general damages for personal injuries. Most editions have largely followed this methodology and presented updated guidelines for awards, increased by applicable prices inflation since the previous edition. This is expected to continue with the 13th edition, which is due to be published later this month. Continue reading