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In January 2014 Ministers hosted a series of roundtable discussions with key representatives following the publication of the government’s whiplash reform programme. Following this, the MoJ formed a core steering group, with medical and legal sub-groups, to provide further assistance with the implementation of the reforms.
On 20 March 2013, Lord Faulks, Minister of State at the MoJ, wrote to the working groups to direct them to consider the development of options for a system of fixed costs in the Civil Procedure Rules for the provision of medical reports.
In response to this direction a consultative letter seeks views from stakeholders on the proposals developed by MoJ and the working groups on fixed costs for medical reports and related issues.
Proposals which will require changes to be made to the Pre-Action Protocol for Low Value Personal Injury Claims in Road Traffic Accidents (RTA Protocol) and the Civil Procedure Rules, Pts 36 and 45, are:
• the need to fix fees for medical examinations and reports in whiplash claims
• discouraging offers to settle being made before appropriate medical reports have been obtained (‘pre-medical offers’)
• the imperative for independence in the commissioning and provision of reports
• a process to permit only experts with appropriate accreditation to conduct medical examinations
Written responses should be returned to: Karen Bibb, Ministry of Justice, Post point 4.37, 102 Petty France, London SW1H 9AJ or by Email.
Responses will be considered before amendments to the RTA Protocol and Civil Procedure Rules are finalised and presented to the Civil Procedure Rule Committee at its meeting on 4 June 2014, with a view to their being approved by the Committee at its July meeting for implementation in October.
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