The much heralded changes introduced to the personal injury claims sector by the Government in 2013 (as a result of the LASPO Act of Parliament 2013) were supposed to rid the system of fraudulent claims and make the claims process fairer for all parties. Although, in our view, it reduced fairness from the system giving more to the insurance sector than the claimant.
As a result of the changes, the Ministry of Justice now mandates that personal injury claims below the value of £25,000 (pre-action protocol level) must be processed using the Claims Portal.
A Solicitor can no longer issue a letter of claim directly to the insurer, but instead goes through the generic portal having to complete specific criteria. The 3rd party respond in the same way. It is supposed to speed up the claims process and add more security to the handling of claimant information.
Originally introduced for claims relating to road traffic accidents or whiplash in 2010, the Claims Portal is described as a stakeholder solution designed to meet the needs of users by providing them with a safe and secure electronic means of communication.
The Government and those who lobbied for the changes to be made to the claims process in the LASPO Act 2013 state that using the portal provides many benefits to claimants and Solicitors. These include information being transferred more quickly and with greater security, decisions and outcomes are reached more quickly, the cost of communication is reduced and greater security checks enable speedier validation of claims and claimants.
The introduction of the portal in and of itself has no effect whatsoever on you the claimant. It doesn’t really change anything as you will always be in touch with us and your Solicitor. The portal mandate has placed a cost burden on Solicitors and left them having to run claims on a heavily reduced fixed fee basis and no longer able to claim a success fee from the 3rd party to cover a claimants legal fees if they win. However, it does continue to be very worthwhile to pursue a claim for compensation.