At long last a compulsory Pre-Action Protocol for Personal Injury cases will come into force in Scotland, bringing a degree of certainty for those that have been injured.
The introduction of such a Protocol has been spoken about and anticipated for many years and will set out steps which must be followed prior to the raising of court proceedings in Scotland.
Why do we need a Protocol for PI cases?
The reason that a voluntary Pre-Action Protocol has existed in Scotland up to now is that adhering to a certain process encourages fair, just and timely settlement of Personal Injury cases without the need for raising court proceedings.
The Protocol requires certain steps be followed which begins with the issuing of a claim form and follows a timetable to settlement stage.
The new compulsory Protocol will apply to Personal Injury cases up to the value of £25,000. These types of cases are currently dealt with in the local Scottish Court and in the all-Scotland Personal Injury Court based in Edinburgh.
Why is a compulsory Protocol necessary?
At the moment there is a voluntary Pre-Action Protocol which was introduced to encourage the early resolution of Personal Injury claims. The Scottish Civil Courts Review 2009 recommended the introduction of a compulsory Protocol for Personal Injury actions as it brought a degree of certainty to parties.
New rules were required for the current voluntary Pre-Action Protocol to be made mandatory. The new rules mean that those who represent injured people in Scotland and those who represent the negligent party are bound by a process. The parties will be expected to follow the Protocol in relevant cases where the accident occurred on or after 28 November 2016.
What is the difference between the voluntary and new compulsory Protocol?
The compulsory Protocol will continue to feature many of the processes and time limits of the existing voluntary Protocol. However the compulsory Protocol will also allow Scottish courts to make an award of expenses against a party who has unreasonably failed to accept a settlement offer made under the Protocol and failed to comply with the Protocol.
What needs to happen now?
The Act of Sederunt (Sheriff Court Rules Amendment) (Personal Injury Pre- Action Protocol) 2016 introduces a new chapter into the existing civil court rules. This will require parties to comply with the compulsory Protocol prior to commencing court proceedings.
The move towards a compulsory Pre-Action Protocol is welcomed and given that there are sanctions attached to non-adherence to the Protocol this should assist all parties involved in the claims process in terms of certainty and time limits. Contact our personal injury solicitors
Get in touch
If you've suffered a Personal Injury our solicitors can help you secure the justice and compensation you deserve. Get in touch now for a free chat about your claim. Call us free on 0800 904 7777 or find out more information about the personal injury service we provide.