MULTIPLE INJURIES AND THE CIVIL LIABILITY ACT 2018: CROSS-SECTOR WORKING GROUP WORKING ON IT
An earlier post dealt with the issues relating to multiple injuries in personal injury cases where a claimant suffered multiple injuries and some of those injuries are subject to the statutory tariff scheme whilst others are not. This is clearly a major practical difficulty and the MIB has set up a working group to address this.
MIB CROSS-SECTOR WORKING GROUP
The Insurance Times reports that the MIB has set up a cross-sector working group with the aim of creating a framework and gaining clarity from the Court of Appeal on dealing with mixed tariff or hybrid injury claims, which include a whiplash injury and a non-whiplash injury, attained through a road traffic accident (RTA).
Both the MIB and the MOJ are reported as admitting that the injured people and their representatives will be unable to value injuries using the portal because it is designed to progress whiplash claims only.
One aim of the group is to find suitable test cases to take to the Court of Appeal as soon as possible.
A REMINDER OF THE (ABSENCE OF) GUIDANCE FROM THE GOVERNMENT
The fact that were going to be difficulties was recognised whilst the Act was going through Parliament. However the issue of multiple injuries was deliberately left to the courts. The Act was debated in a Grand Committee debate in the House of Lords on the 26th April 2021.
Lord Wolfson of Tredegar (Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Justice) stated:-
“My noble friends Lord Hunt of Wirral, Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth and Lord Naseby made the point that there is a risk that the regulations could be subverted by other injuries suddenly becoming the main injury. As the noble and learned Lord, Lord Hope of Craighead, mentioned, Section 3(8) of the Act provides that, where a claimant suffers injuries in addition to a whiplash injury, the court is not prevented from awarding damages that reflect the combined effect of the injuries sustained. The courts will therefore need to determine how mixed injuries are addressed. We are confident that judicial expertise will address these matters on a case-by-case basis, but we will look vigilantly to ensure that the regulations are not undermined, whether by the claims management industry or otherwise, by people reordering their claims so that minor injuries become the main part of their claim.”
WEBINAR ON THE 10th JUNE 2021
I will be looking at the issue of damages for multiple injuries (including cases covered by the whiplash tariff) in more detail in a webinar on damages for pain and suffering on the 10th June 2021. Booking details are available here.