There has been some consternation amongst medico-legal experts that the policy changes announced in the recent Autumn Statement to low value, soft tissue RTA-related claims – i.e. that many would now be directed along the Small Claims Court path instead of current hearing, often in front of a judge – would mean the lack of requirement of a medico-legal report. At the last MedCo Board Meeting on December 2nd, this subject was raised and we were given the assurance of those attending as observers and advisers from the MoJ that ALL such claims would still require a MedCo-generated medico-legal report.
I have copied and pasted a comment from the MedCo homepage saying that medical evidence is still considered an important part of the process after the raising of the claim limits in the Small Claims Court.
“Following the recent announcement by the Chancellor, the MedCo Board have spoken to the Ministry of Justice and the legal requirement to use the MedCo system to source medical reports in low value, soft tissue injury claims is not changed by the policy decisions announced by the Government in the Autumn Statement on 25 November. The MoJ has confirmed that the whiplash claims process will continue to require good quality medical reports and the MedCo system therefore remains an integral part of the Government’s reform programme.
The MoJ is to consult in the New Year on the new reforms, which aim to build on the significant steps already taken to reduce costs and strengthen the medical evidence process”