On 30 April 2010 the Ministry of Justice introduced the road traffic accident (RTA) portal. This was
a radical first step in trying to simplify the procedure for personal injury claims valued at £1,000-£10,000 resulting from road
traffic accidents. This is now applied via www.rtapiclaimprocess.org.uk. The essence of the portal is an online method of claims management, to ensure a swift resolution of the large number of claims each year for relatively minor injuries. The portal imposes much tighter time limits than the previous process and importantly, fixed costs for each step of the process:
Stage 1 — The claimant’s solicitor (it is not open to litigants in person) provides the details of the claim to the defendant’s insurer. The defendant then has 15 working days to respond, admitting or denying liability. Costs of this stage are fixed at £1,000.
Stage 2 — If liability is admitted, then the claimant moves on to obtain a medical report and there is then a further timetable for the negotiation of settlement, with each side having to take the relevant step within 15 days before a further 20 days being allowed for negotiation. Costs of this stage are £800 plus a 12.5% uplift on a conditional fee agreement (CFA).
Stage 3 — This is a quantum hearing, with £250 costs for a paper-based decision and £500 for an oral hearing. A CFA is allowed, with a 100% uplift at hearing. All damages and costs have to be paid within 10 days.
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