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New cross-party approach to catastrophic injury claims

A dozen insurers and 40 law firms sign up to improve old multi-track code

12 October 2015

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Major insurers and law firms have joined forces to produce a less prescriptive approach to speed up the handling of catastrophic injury claims.

The Guide to the Conduct of Cases Involving Serious Injury, launched today has attracted the support of 12 major insurers and 40 law firms so far.

Signatories to the code have committed to a series of objectives, including speedy resolution of liability, early access to rehabilitation, and the use of appropriate and proportionate costs.

'This collaboration will make a real difference to the way claims valued £250,000 and over are handled,' said Deborah Evans, chief executive of the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL).

'It puts the injured person at the heart of the process by encouraging early interim payments, prioritising early rehabilitation and focussing on settling claims more quickly and efficiently.'

The new guide aims to build and improve upon elements of the old multi-track code, which was first published in March 2008, and will work in parallel with the civil procedure rules (CPR).

Commenting on the announcement, Laurence Besemer, CEO of the Forum of Insurance Lawyers (FOIL), said his organisation was pleased to have worked alongside insurers and APIL members to bring 'real substance and form to the broad concept of collaboration between the parties in a serious injury case'.

'I hope that this pragmatic and consensual approach can be used in other areas of dispute resolution where more work needs to be done,' he added.

The latest partnership of the PI sector comes following the launch of a new rehabilitation code to encourage greater collaboration between lawyers and insurers to provide injured people with treatment as quickly as possible.

John van der Luit-Drummond is deputy editor for Solicitors Journal | @JvdLD

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