Derby Whiplash Claims

Get in touch with Derby Lawyers by e-mailing gary.dickie@btinternet.com , or ring us on 01332 518135 .

The New Claims Process for Low Value Road Traffic Claims

All liability admitted road traffic accident claims where the value of the claim is between £1,000 and £10,000 (including pecuniary losses but excluding interest) and contains an element of personal injury, with the accident occurring in England and Wales on or after 30 April 2010, are now subject of the new claims process (NCP).

There are three stages to the process:

•     Stage 1: Claim Notification Form and response.
•     Stage 2: Preparing the evidence, Settlement Pack, negotiation and, where possible, settlement.
•     Stage 3: Issue proceedings.

The claimant must send the Claim Notification Form (‘CNF’) to the defendant’s insurer electronically.

The defendant insurer must complete and send to the claimant an electronic acknowledgment the day after receipt of the CNF, and a ‘CNF response’ within 15 business days. Where no insurer is identified and the claim falls to be dealt with by the MIB the time limit is 30 business days.

The claim will exit the Protocol and continue under the PI Protocol if the defendant does any of the following:

•     admits liability but alleges contributory negligence (other than for not wearing a seatbelt);
•     fails to complete and send the CNF response;
•     does not admit liability (in which case the defendant must give reasons); or
•     notifies the claimant that the defendant considers either there is inadequate mandatory information in the CNF, or the small claims track would be the normal track for the claim.

If liability is admitted, the claimant should obtain a medical report, checking carefully the factual accuracy of the report: Once it has been sent to the defendant there is no further opportunity for the claimant to challenge the facts upon which the report is based.

The Stage 2 Settlement Pack (‘SP’) must contain the Stage 2 Settlement Pack Form, the medical report(s) and evidence of pecuniary losses and disbursements. These must be sent to the defendant within 15 days of the claimant approving the final medical report and agreeing to rely on the prognosis.

The defendant has 35 days to consider the SP (‘the total consideration period’): 15 days to consider the settlement pack and make an offer (‘initial consideration period’) and a further 20 days (the ‘negotiation period’) to negotiate a settlement. This may be extended by agreement. A defendant must accept the offer or make a counter offer within the initial consideration period.

If a counter offer is made, the defendant must propose an amount for each head of damage giving an explanation as to why that amount has been reduced. It is envisaged this will help the claimant when negotiating a settlement and focus the parties on those areas still in dispute.

The claimant has until the end of the total consideration period to accept or decline the defendant’s counter offer.

Except where the claimant is a child where settlement is reached the defendant must pay the agreed damages within ten days of the end of the (original or extended) consideration period.

Where no settlement is agreed, or where the claimant is a child, proceedings are to be issued under CPR Pt 8, and the claimant must first send the Court Proceedings Pack (Part A and Part B) Form (‘CPPF’) to the defendant containing:

(a)     the final offer and counter offer from the Stage 2 Settlement Park Form;
(b)     supporting comments from both parties on disputed heads of damages; and
(c)     where relevant, the offer, and if made, the counter offer under para 7.45.

An application for the court to determine the amount of damages must be started by a claim form and must state that the claimant has followed the RTA Protocol, the date when the Court Proceedings Pack Form (‘CPPF’) was sent to the defendant (unless the application is for a settlement hearing in respect of a child), whether the claimant wants the claim to be determined on the papers (except where a party is a child) or at a Stage 3 hearing (and if so, on which dates), and the value of the claim.

Under para.6.1 the claimant must file with the claim form:

•     the Court Proceedings Pack (Part A) Form;
•     the Court Proceedings Pack (Part B) Form (the claimant’s and defendant’s final offers) in a sealed envelope;
•     copies of medical reports;
•     evidence of special damages;

The defendant must file and serve an acknowledgment of service in the form N210B not more than 14 days after service of the claim form. The acknowledgement of service must also state whether the defendant wants the claim to be determined on the papers or at a Stage 3 hearing, and include any objections as to the claim.

The claim will be decided on the papers unless the claimant or defendant requests a Stage 3 hearing, or the court orders a hearing on a date determined by the court. At least 21 days notice will be given to the parties of the date of the determination on the papers or at a hearing.

Get in touch with Derby Lawyers by e-mailing gary.dickie@btinternet.com , or ring us on 01332 518135 .

 

 

 

 

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