Concerns are mounting about the Chancellors announcement that the small claims limit will increase to £5000 for injury claims. Coupled with the likelihood of fixed costs schemes for Clinical negligence up to £125,000 in value suggests the Government doesn't realize the complexity of injury la, or the issues that require thorough investigation and presentation to a court.
Ultimately, the courts will end up doing the jobs of lawyers with representation being limited to what the government will allow. Surely this will clog up the system and deny deserving and justified claimants what the law previously saw fit to provide.
The small claims procedure is not designed for more complex, higher-value cases. This is recognised in that the small claims limit for personal injury is currently £1,000. Many personal injury claims, even at lower value, can be complex and result in an inequality of arms where the claimant is unrepresented and seeking to bring a claim against a defendant who can afford to take legal advice. Difficult issues relate to liability, causation and medical evidence. If fairness is to prevail it is important to ensure that people who have suffered injury as a result of negligence are able to get the legal advice they need from specialist solicitors.The announcement in the 2015 autumn statement that the small claims limit for all personal injury road traffic accident (RTA) claims will be raised from £1,000 to £5,000 is therefore deeply concerning.