The Civil Procedure (Amendment No. 5) Rules 2014

Jackson LJ approved an amendment to CPR 3.8 (following on from the case of Hallam) to allow parties to agree a short time extension of up to 28 days.

The amendment came into force on 5 June 2014.

The Civil Procedure (Amendment No. 6) Rules 2014

The Ministry of Justice has published amendments to the civil procedure rules, which will come into force on 1 October 2014.  The rules will bring in some of the recent Government proposals aimed at tackling fraudulent personal injury claims.  These amendments do so by focusing on controlling medical evidence as follows:

  • Definition of soft tissue injury

‘… a claim brought by an occupant of a motor vehicle where the significant physical injury is a soft tissue injury and includes claims where there is a minor psychological injury secondary in significance to the physical injury.’

This definition includes a psychological element so the Claimant cannot avoid the restrictions of the amendments by adding on a minor psychological injury, such as travel anxiety. 

  • A single report

Claimants will generally be restricted to one expert medical report. If the Claimant wishes to rely on further medical evidence they will need to provide justification to the Court for permission to do so.

  • Fixed fees for medical evidence

CPR 45.19 sets out a system of fixed fees for medical evidence. The fee for a standard medical report will be fixed at £180 (plus VAT where applicable). There will also be a fixed cost for specialist reports, medical records, addendum reports and responses to Part 35 questions.  If the Claimant obtains a medical report outside of the fixed fee scheme, the cost will not be recoverable.

  • Medical expert to be impartial

Experts will not be allowed to provide, or offer to provide, treatment to a Claimant, and if they do so they will forfeit their fee.

  • Medical expert to be provided with Defendant’s version of events

The Defendant will be given an opportunity to provide their own version of events to the Claimant in response to a claim. If provided the Claimant must provide the Defendants account to the medical expert and the expert should consider both versions of events when providing a diagnosis and prognosis.

  • Controlling pre-med offers

Any offer made before a medical report is served will have no costs consequences until the report is served.