Research commissioned by the Ministry of Justice has confirmed that the new claims process for road traffic accidents, the RTA portal, has resulted in a fall of just 3-4% in the average costs awarded to claimant solicitors, while there has been a 6% reduction in the level of compensation awarded to injured claimants. And while there was a small rise in the speed of settlements, by 5-7%, around 50% of cases exited the portal at an early stage of the process.

The report, Evaluating the low value Road Traffic Accident Process by Professor Paul Fenn, compares the management information data of a sample of personal injury claimant solicitor firms and defendant insurers, before and after the implementation of the new low value Road Traffic Accident (RTA) claims process. It was commissioned to evaluate the extent to which the existing low value RTA claims process has achieved its objectives in reducing costs and improving efficiency.

The government wants to extend the portal to all personal injury claims with a value below £25,000, including employer and public liability cases.

Responding to the Ministry of Justice’s publication of research by Professor Paul Fenn, Tom Jones, head of policy and public affairs at Thompsons Solicitors said:

“Now we know why the government has sat on Professor Fenn’s research. The work shows there is no justification for extending the RTA claims process to higher value claims or to employer and public liability claims. The new claims process has reduced damages more than it has costs, has had little impact on turnaround times and half of all cases have fallen out of the portal early in the process. All of this is unhelpful to a government department seemingly hell bent on extending the Portal. If the government presses on in the face of this decidedly weak endorsement of the Portal process it will prove beyond doubt that policy is based on anecdote, ideology and returning favours to Conservative Party donors rather than evidence.”

More information and to read the report in full go to: http://www.justice.gov.uk.