Pre-Action Protocol for Personal Injury Claims in Road Traffic Accidents

The Pre-Action Protocol for Low Value Personal Injury Claims in Road Traffic Accidents describes the behaviour the Court will normally expect of prospective parties to a claim to which the Protocol relates before Court proceedings are issued.

When does the Pre-Action Protocol for Low Value Personal Injury Claims in Road Traffic Accidents apply?

The Protocol applies to the following claims: 

  • where there is a claim for damages arising from a road traffic accident which occurred on or after 30 April 2010;
  • the claim includes a claim for damages in respect of personal injury;
  • the Claimant values the claim at not more than £10,000 on a full liability basis including pecuniary losses but excluding interest; and
  • where the small claims track would not be the normal track for the claim. 
  • Where a claim includes vehicle related damage such damage should not be taken into account for the purpose of valuing the claim.  

The Protocol does not apply where: 

  • the claim is in respect of a breach of duty owed to a road user by a person who is not a road user;
  • a claim has been made to the Motor Insurers’ Bureau;
  • either party is deceased;
  • either party is a “protected party”;
  • where the Claimant is bankrupt; or
  • where the Defendant’s vehicle is registered outside of the UK.

What are the requirements of the Pre-Action Protocol for Low Value Personal Injury Claims in Road Traffic Accidents?

The Protocol sets out a 3 stage process which the parties are expected to follow. In most cases the parties are expect to provide information to each other electronically.

Stage 1

Stage 1 of the process involves the following steps being taken:

Completion of a Claim Notification Form

The Claimant is required to complete and send a Claim Notification Form to the Defendant and his insurer. There are prescribed forms which should be used. The Claimant is required to confirm certain things in the Claim Notification Form which include the provision of certain information where a claim for vehicle related damage is being made, where the Claimant is a child and where there is a need for rehabilitation.  

The Claim Notification Form should be verified with a statement of truth signed by the Claimant or his legal representative. 

If inadequate mandatory information is given the Defendant is entitled to decide that the claim should not longer continue under the Protocol.

The response

The Defendant’s insurer is expected to acknowledge receipt electronically of the Claim Notification Form the next day after receipt. The insurer is expected to send the Claimant an “Insurer Response” within 15 days. If the claim is being dealt with by the Motor Insurers’ Bureau they have 30 days to respond.

Certificate of recoverable benefits

The Defendant is required, before the end of Stage 1, to apply to the Compensation Recovery Unit for a certificate of recoverable benefits.

Circumstances in which the Protocol ceases to apply

If the Defendant alleges contributory negligence (other than where a Claimant admits to not wearing a seat beat) or does not respond or does not admit liability or notifies the Claimant that he considers that inadequate mandatory information has been provided or that the small claims track would be the normal track for the claim, the Protocol ceases to apply.

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For more information on:

  • Stage 2
  • Medical reports
  • Interim payments
  • The Stage 2 Settlement Pack
  • Consideration of the claim
  • Offers and counter-offers
  • Circumstances in which the Protocol ceases to apply
  • Settlement
  • Failure to reach an agreement
  • Failure to make payment
  • Stage 3
  • Fixed costs