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Whiplash Reform: Proposals on fixed costs for medical examinations/reports

Last week, the MOJ started the clock on its latest consultation for personal injury professionals with fixed fees and independence for medical examinations topping the agenda. In this article, we review the proposals and explain* the steps you need to take to have your say.

Time can get the better of you in a month bookended by bank holidays so the news that the Minister of State for Justice wants your views by 28th May means there are now only 12 working days to respond. 

Lord Faulks explained on 2nd May how the government proposes to change the pre-action protocol for low value personal injury claims in road traffic accidents (RTA Protocol) and Parts 36 and 45 of the Civil Procedure Rules (CPR). This consultation is of key importance in the whiplash reform process and the rules that will emerge are to be implemented by October 2014. 

Now, the MOJ is calling on stakeholders including solicitors, insurers and claims management companies to have their say. 

What do they want your opinion about?

The consultation wants to know what you think about

1. The need to fix fees for medical examinations and reports in whiplash claims

  • Fees proposed as follows
Report Type Fee
1) GP  £180
2) Consultant Ortho (including records review) £420
3) Chartered Physio £180
4) Obtaining an addendum report on medical records £50
5) Obtaining medical records No more than £30 + direct cost from the holder of the records and limited to £80 
6) Answering questions under rule 35.6 £80
All the above subject to VAT  

2. Discouraging pre-med offers
3. Extra info for medical experts
4. The imperative for independence in the commissioning and provision of medical reports

What do I need to do? 

The full list of questions within Lord Faulks' 2nd May letter can be found here. Written responses to should be returned by email to whiplashcondoc@justice.gsi.gov.uk or by post to - Karen Bibb, Ministry of Justice, Post point 4.37, 102 Petty France, London SW1H 9AJ. 

*This document is a précis of the full consultation and should be considered only as a quick guide; please visit the MOJ web site for a full list of questions.