The portal for Employer liability (EL) and Public liability (PL) claims valued at £25,000 or less has been running since August 2013. We now have nearly 4 years of data on all aspects of the process and for those cases that stay in the Portal (ie. where liability is admitted) we can compare years (which run from August to July), review numbers of claims, see what happens to them and look at award values.
Some of our observations are set out below:
Public Liability Claims
These are more significant in number than EL claims and awards are marginally higher. However, whilst a large number of these cases (42%) then leave the portal at stage 1 due to disputes regarding liability (or just a failure to respond), this is a smaller proportion than EL claims that exit the process (54%).
On average, general damages awards for EL and PL cases were broadly similar and ranged from £3,800 - £4,270 in 2016/17 - up from £3,600 - £4,100 in 2015/16. The proposed new small claims limit (£2,000 for non RTA cases) could significantly affect these averages if small claims are kept out of the process in future.
The overall trend on EL claims submitted in the portal is down about 5% for each year since the first full year of figures in 2014/15 and for PL cases the trend is even more significant and saw a 12% decline last year and the trend is in the region of a 10% declined this year.
More Court Packs
The number of Court Packs submitted each month is going up, reflecting the fact that as portal cases "age" they will inevitably be more complex and are more likely to require judicial assessment, rather than settle at Stage 2. It is often only at this point that many compensators instruct lawyers. Perhaps some external legal input at Stage 2 could avoid this additional cost?
For those who like to look at the raw data the link is here.