PERSONAL INJURY SMALL CLAIMS LIMIT GOING UP?
Look here for Kerry’s new course on this subject
That title alone guarantees a large number of visits: nothing exercises the minds of lawyers more than this subject.
An increase in the personal injury small claims limit – currently £1,000.00 – is once again on the agenda.
Speaking on 18 November 2015 Justice Minister Caroline Dinenage said potential changes to the small claims limit will be included in the Insurance Fraud Task Force Report due out next month.
(Note: the Insurance Fraud Task Force is not a body tasked to look at the fraud that is Britain’s insurance industry; it was set up by former Lord Chancellor Grayling to look at alleged fraud by the British Public).
The report will also consider reducing the limitation period in soft tissue injury cases from three years to one year.
One of the most famous laws is the law of unforeseen consequences. The RTA Portal does not apply to small claims, that is currently claims under £1,000.00, and thus its scope is £1,000.00 to £25,000.00.
The vast majority of the 850,000 RTA Portal claims each year fall in the £1,000.00 to £5,000.00 bracket, so an increase in the small claims limit to £5,000.00 releases around 750,000 claims from the portal process.
Those claims will either have to settle or be issued at court as the portal process will not be available.
Very obviously there will be a huge increase in issued road traffic claims imposing a burden on an already creaking court system.
As no costs are recoverable in small claims it is safe to assume that very many of the claimants going to court will be Litigants in Person. Earlier this month, giving judgment in Minkin v Landsberg  EWCA Civ 1152 the Court of Appeal said:-
“73. The District Judges, more than any other level of the judiciary, are finding their lists are overwhelmed as a consequence of the increase in court time taken by each case where (as is now routinely the case) the parties appear as litigants in person.”
You ain’t seen nothing yet.
The cost to the state will rocket; the cost to insurance companies will plummet.
Why does it not surprise me that this government is once again considering this proposal?
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