MOJ & RTA POTENTIAL ABUSES
A Fudged Completion of Mandatory Boxes in the Claims Notification Form
The defendants face considerable potential costs exposure for the incorrect rejection of an incomplete CNF.
Insurer Non-Adherence to Strict Timetables
There are many timetables that place an immense administrative pressure upon defendants, and any failure to adhere to these timetables will be treated as an opportunity by many claimant law firms.
Timetables are for Monies Received
Any ambiguity as to whether monies are received on time may lead to the claim being ejected from the process. Electronic payment methods may prove to be essential in order to provide an adequate audit trail.
Obtaining Additional Medical Evidence
If the injuries sustained require several medical experts, it may invoke an urge to obtain an additional report which will tip the claim out of the process, e.g. psychological evidence.
Interim Payment Requests for Stayed Matters
Enhanced interim payment requests for stayed claims place pressure on the defendant, as any counter offer in respect of that creates a risk of the claim exiting the process.
If the ultimate interim payment award is less than the defendant’s offer, costs will be limited to Stage 2 fixed amount. It is imperative that a strategic line is taken by the defendant to ensure that claims do not unnecessarily exit the process.
Interim Payment Requests for Children
These will automatically eject the claim from the process.
Hidden Profit Costs in Disbursements Claimed
Tighter margins may lead to further exploitation of revenue streams through disbursement items (e.g. solicitor-owned medical agencies) and ATE premiums by way of referral fees etc.
The Risks of Non-Utilisation of Panel Solicitors
The Process does not require the instruction of panel solicitors on claims entering Stage 3, but the structure of the costs provisions makes it unwise not to do so.
If the defendant chooses not to retain solicitors, the final Part 36 offer made will only hold the potential capacity to prevent the claimant’s solicitor from recovering costs in relation to Stage 3.
The £32,000 question: should an insurer retain a solicitor for Stage 3?
It could take as little as ten minutes to progress a claim onto Stage 3, and that factor along with there being no risk of incurring a defendant costs liability will encourage claimants to push the claim into Stage 3 regardless of the strength of the defendant’s offer. Their costs payments for the first two stages are banked and safe.
TAKE A LOOK AT