Cross-industry coronavirus call on personal injury claims

A COVID-19 Personal Injury Protocol has been launched by the Association of British Insurers’ and defendant law firm Thompsons to mitigate the impact of coronavirus disruption on personal injury claimants. Insurers and law firms can pledge their commitment to the protocol on the ABI’s website.

The protocol has been put in place for a minimum of four weeks – up to the 18 April - with a joint review in the week of the 13th April, by which time the Lord Chief Justice’s office may have put formal instructions in place., organisations can pledge their commitment to the protocol on the ABI’s website

The aim is for law firms and insurers to sign up to the protocol to ensure that neither party in a personal injury claim is unfairly impacted by coronavirus disruption.

The protocol specifically targets practical or procedural opportunism presented by coronavirus related disruption. It calls for a flexible and pragmatic approach, whether that is to limitation periods, delays in submitting medical evidence or a defence, and seeks to recognise restrictions on attending hearings while social distancing guidance is in place

James Dalton, ABI director of general insurance policy, commented: “At this unprecedented time, insurers want to work together with others to continue to give claimants the help and support they need during this very difficult and worrying period. In order for personal injury claims to continue to progress, we have put this temporary protocol in place to deliver on that objective”

Tom Jones, Thompsons Solicitors’ head of policy, commented: “This protocol needs industry-wide support. Like COVID-19, the protocol doesn’t take sides but unlike COVID-19 it can help everyone – claimant solicitor or defendant insurer.”

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