How the Claims Portal Works
06 March 2020
What is the Claims Portal?
The Claims Portal is the default method of dealing with personal injury claims in the UK that fall within £1,000 and £25,000.
The Claims Portal acts as a go-between for claimants and defendants, making it straightforward to pursue a road traffic accident or personal injury claims.
At Co-op Legal Services, most personal injury claims can be dealt with on a No Win No Fee basis.
3 Stages in the Claims Portal Process
There are 3 stages to the Claims Portal process. These are:
Stage 1 – Notification
Your Solicitor/Lawyer will send a Claim Notification Form (CNF) to the defendant, which must be acknowledged within 1 working day. The Defendant must then provide a response to confirm if they accept liability or not.
For Road Accident Claims, the Defendant has 15 working days to respond, for Employers' Liability Claims they have 30 working days to respond, and for Public Liability Claims they must respond within 40 working days. Claims will only stay in the portal process if the Defendant responds with a full admission of liability.
Stage 2 – Settlement Negotiations
When all evidence is collated and finalised, this will be sent to the Defendant with settlement offers. Evidence includes medical evidence to support the injuries sustained, plus evidence of any financial losses suffered as a result of the index accident. The Claimant makes the first offer and we have 35 working days to negotiate settlement terms with the Defendant.
Stage 3 – Court Proceedings
If settlement cannot be reached within the 35 working day negotiation period, Court proceedings can be considered. The Defendant must make an interim payment for the sum of money offered at the end of Stage 2 while we await the Court hearing. If a higher amount is awarded by the Court, the Defendant will then pay the balance of the damages awarded.
Benefits of the Claims Portal
Keeps Costs Down
After the justice reforms initiated by Lord Woolf in 1999 and subsequent revisions to the legal system, it has become increasingly expensive to pursue small claims. This is especially true for Road Accident Claims for personal injury or damage to a vehicle.
However, if a claim stays within the Claims Portal process it is likely to be significantly cheaper in legal costs than those that fall outside the system. That there are strict deadlines in place for each stage of the process, and if you breach any of these deadlines then your claim will be rejected from the Claims Portal and your legal costs to continue with the case could soar.
Speeds up the Process
Before the Claims Portal was introduced, pursuing road traffic accident (RTA) claims could take months, if not years. By ensuring that small to medium-sized claims all go through the same system and by eliminating all of the red tape that previously clogged things up, the process has now sped up significantly.
If you've been a victim of a road traffic accident, a lengthy claims process could have a huge financial impact on your life. By cutting the time it takes to get a payment down from months or even years to just weeks, a huge financial burden can be lifted. This could be an interim payment while the claim is ongoing or a final settlement, but either way this allows you to focus on recovering from your injuries, rather than worrying about your bank balance.
Decisions are reached quickly, and because the Portal is electronic, the transfer of information between parties is carried out in a secure and efficient way.
There are strict timeframes, such as insurers having to respond to claims within a 15-day period. This clear-cut system stops anyone from 'stonewalling' or dragging out the litigation for months and months.
Reduces ATE Insurance Costs
After the Event insurance can be very expensive (especially if your income has been affected by a road traffic accident). Premiums for this type of insurance have dropped on average since the Portal was introduced.
How Do I Get Started?
Call our team of Personal Injury Solicitors and Litigation Lawyers for free initial advice and to find out if you have a solid basis to pursue a claim.
If your claim is worth over £1,000 and under £25,000, once instructed to represent you, your Personal Injury Solicitor/Lawyer will complete a Claim Notification Form, which is sent electronically to the defendant’s insurance company. The defendant will also get a paper copy of this sent directly to their home address.
A key fact to note is that the Solicitor must state whether the claimant was wearing a seat belt at the time of the accident.
Once that Claim Notification Form is sent, the process is initiated and Stage 1 of the Claims Portal process begins.
For free legal advice call our Personal Injury Solicitors on 0330 606 9590 or contact us online and we'll call you.
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