The Personal Injury Pre-action Protocol for low value claims (RTA) has new reforms that came in to effect on 1 October 2014.
These reforms apply to low value claims (RTA) and are defined as;
“soft tissue injury claim means a claim brought by an occupant of a motor vehicle where the significant physical injury caused is a soft tissue injury and includes claims where there is a minor psychological injury secondary in significance to the physical injury”
One of the reforms include the use of MedCo which implements fixed cost medical reports in low value claims.
MedCo is an online portal system designed to remove the links between instructing solicitors and Agencies and to generate random allocation of experts, although these are currently under Judicial Review.
When using MedCo, you are required to enter client details to search for an expert or Medical Reporting Organisation (MRO). A list of seven experts / MROs are given to choose from, all within a 5 mile radius of the client’s postcode. Once you have chosen the expert / MRO from that list, you are committed to send instructions to that expert / MRO you have selected. A unique reference number is generated and this MUST be placed on the CNF when submitting the Stage 2 settlement pack. If this reference number is not put on the settlement pack, you risk the expert not receiving their fee.
Instructions are sent in the usual way by letter and appointments are generated quickly, usually within a couple of days. The suggested turnaround time for reports is 25 days.
In the first instance, a GP expert MUST be used and there is no requirement for medical notes. The fee that can be claimed for such a report is £180.00 (plus VAT is applicable)
The costs of obtaining a further report, where justified, from one of the following disciplines are;
Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon (inclusive of a review of medical records where applicable) £420.00
Consultant in Accident and Emergency Medicine £360.00
General Practitioner £180.00
Physiotherapist registered with the Heath & Care Professionals Council £180.00
Where medical notes are required the costs here have also been fixed.
“No more than £30 plus the direct cost from the holder of the records, and limited to £80.00 in total for each set of records required. Where relevant records are required from more than one holder of records, the fixed fee applies to each set of records required”.
For further information about MedCo or should you have any questions, please contact Rebekah Baty in the Personal Injury Department.