PI Futures Conference 2020: RTA Reforms Update
In November, we attended the 2020 PI Futures Conference, where several speakers provided an update on the RTA reforms which are set to come into force in April 2021. There were five sessions in total discussing the future for personal injury lawyers following the whiplash reforms.
Speakers, such as Dominic Clayden from the Motor Insurance Bureau and David Parkin from the Ministry of Justice, provided an update on the current state of the whiplash reform programme and confirmed that they are scheduled to come into force this coming April.
RTA Reforms: An Overview
The first session of the PI Futures conference provided an update and overview of the changes which will be made following the RTA reforms. These changes are set to have a huge impact on the personal injury claims landscape, and many have been critical of the potential impacts which the changes may have on access to justice for those sustaining whiplash injuries in road traffic accidents.
The RTA reforms were initially planned to come into force in April 2019; however, there have been a number of delays since this date and plans to enforce the reforms in April 2020 were delayed until August 2020. Plans to introduce the reforms in August 2020 were further delayed until April 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic this year. It was confirmed at the PI Futures Conference that plans are still in place to enforce the changes in April.
The RTA whiplash reforms are being brought into force by The Civil Liability Act 2018 (CLA 2018), which was introduced in December 2018. Some of the planned changes will include:
- The introduction of a fixed tariff of damages awarded by the Courts for pain, suffering and loss of amenity for whiplash injuries sustained as a result of a road traffic accident.
- A ban on claims being settled without medical evidence in the form of an assessment and medical report.
- Raising the Small Claims limit to £5,000, removing the ability for Claimants to recover any legal costs for these types of claims.
- The introduction of a new claims portal, giving Claimants the ability to self-manage the claims process using an online portal.
Within this session of the PI Futures Conference, speakers were provided with the opportunity to raise their concerns and question those behind the policy on the negative impacts which these reforms may have on Claimants as well as PI Solicitors.
Staying in The Market
A session entitled “Which Way Now? Staying in the Market” was given by speakers, such as Paul Hampson, from Hampson Hughes and Leticia Williams from Hodge Jones & Allen. This session provided some valuable guidance for personal injury Solicitors wishing to remain in the market.
An overview of how the market will look following the reforms was provided, as well as guidance as to how law firms can continue to thrive and operate within the market.
Leaving the RTA Market
A further session entitled “Which Way Now? Leaving the RTA Market” was provided by a number of speakers, including Julie Twist from Diversify Law and Nick Shapland from Affiniti Finance. The speakers in this session provided some valuable information and viable options for those wishing to explore the idea of exiting the RTA claims market.
Some of the options discussed were leaving the market by simply running down a practice, selling work in progress files and exiting the RTA market to focus on other, more profitable areas of law.
One of the main concerns raised within this session was in regard to finding buyers of WIP files for those wishing to sell.
How Can Recovery First Assist?
Recovery First offers a positive solution for those affected by the whiplash reforms and wishing to exit the market to focus on other areas of law, or for those requiring a structured exit from the legal market.
The unique scheme offered by Recovery First is suitable for both law firms and professional advisors. Our team manage the transfer of files from start to finish; placing case files with an approved law firm so as to protect the integrity of the client’s case.
We guarantee 100% confidentiality for all clients and perform due diligence on all files. Get in touch today using the contact information or fill in the form on our “Contact Us” page, and we will contact you to discuss the process.