Consultation: Whiplash reform—Proposals on fixed costs for medical examinations/reports and related issues

Consultation: Whiplash reform—Proposals on fixed costs for medical examinations/reports and related issues

Background

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.

Issues for consultation

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

To respond

Written responses should be returned to: Karen Bibb, Ministry of Justice, Post point 4.37, 102 Petty France, London SW1H 9AJ or by Email.

Next steps

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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About the author:
Elizabeth has ten years of experience in personal injury litigation. She studied science and law at the University of Adelaide in Australia and practised there for several years before relocating to London. She initially practised in insurance litigation dealing with product and public liability claims and then specialised in clinical negligence. She worked at Lovells and then at US Firm Howrey. Following that she transferred to Nabarro with her team to help establish the healthcare practice. Elizabeth managed a significant case load dealing with large and small value claims and several large scale group actions. Elizabeth joined the Lexis®PSL team in January 2012.