Ministry of Justice
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Improving the claims process for personal injury cases
A consultation on case track limits and the claims process for personal injury claims was published by the Department for Constitutional Affairs today.
The paper recommends no increase to the small claims limits, including those for personal injury and housing disrepair claims. It does however recommend that the fast track limit should be raised to £25,000.
The paper also considers ways to improve the claims process for personal injury cases to make it more efficient. It makes proposals for a new system built around the principles of early notification of claims, early admissions of liability and the removal of duplication of work from the process. They also provide for actions to be taken within fixed time periods and with fixed recoverable costs.
Speaking at the annual conference of the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers, Lord Falconer, Secretary of State for Constitutional Affairs and Lord Chancellor said,
"If we are to achieve confidence in the delivery of justice, for the individual and for society, we need real reform. Reform which initiates a culture change. We must change the way cases are handled to make it more efficient. This consultation paper sets out proposals for such a system. People will see justice being delivered in a timely, proportionate and cost effective way."
Lord Falconer also spoke about other reforms underway, including claims management regulation, which commences fully on Monday 23 April.
Notes for Editors
1. The consultation period will end on 13 July 2007. A copy of the paper is available at: http://www.dca.gov.uk\consult\case-track-limits\cp0807.htm
2. Cases in the courts are assigned to one of three tracks: the Multi Track, the Fast Track or the Small Claims Track, depending on the amount of the claim and the complexity of the case. Current case track limits are set out in the Civil procedure Rules: http://www.dca.gov.uk/civil/procrules_fin/menus/rules.htm