The Jury is out on whether the new Road Traffic Accident (RTA) claims process for litigating personal injury claims for minor motor accidents (those leading to claims between £1,000 and £10,000) will prove to be effective.
The new three-stage procedure, which was introduced for accidents that occurred after 29 April 2010, gives the defendant’s insurers just 15 days from the date of submission of the claim form to accept or deny liability (this was previously 60 to 90 days).
If liability is admitted, a payment of £400 on account of costs should be made to the claimant within ten days.
The second phase involves the claimant making an offer to settle and supplying any necessary medical evidence. There then follows a 15- to 20-day negotiation period, which may be extended by agreement. Only if this fails to produce a settlement will the third phase – a trip to court – become necessary.
The procedure is already attracting criticism for being overly bureaucratic and failing to produce the promised benefits.