Lady Solicitor Personal Injury Claim Lady Justice Old Bailer

Injury Portal Litigants In Person

PI Portal Perils - Why a careless click could cost you dearly 


PI lawyer, Jasmine Butler, warns unwary users of the personal injury portal to take extra care 

 

The online low value road traffic accident protocol has been in use for injury compensation claims ranging in value from £1,000-£25,000 from 31 July 2013.

The protocol is based upon information being exchanged between the parties via an online “Portal”.

The Portal is widely used by litigants in person (ie claimants who do not have a solicitor representing them) hoping to be able to deal with their own claim in an effort to save on legal costs.

The Portal was designed to save speed and costs. It is not however the most user friendly system.

Negotiations are dealt with under the Portal by the parties sending offers and counter offers. If a party wants to accept an offer they simply have to click the accept button. Unfortunately, in the recent case of Draper v Newport the Claimant’s solicitors clicked accept by mistake. The lawyer realised her mistake almost straightaway. She contacted the Defendant’s solicitors to inform them that she had meant to reject the offer, not accept it.

The Defendants wouldn’t listen so the issue proceeded to Court.

To the surprise of many specialist personal injury lawyers the Court decided that the claimant’s lawyer was not allowed to rely upon the common law doctrine of mistake. The Judge said that to overrule the mistaken acceptance would undermine the certainty, speed and cost of the portal scheme.

The Claimant was therefore forced to accept the Defendant’s offer.

The lesson to take from the findings in Draper v Newport is that mistakes can easily be made especially when dealing with injury claims on the portal.

Litigants in person need to be particularly wary of the need to avoid simple errors and mistakes as the scheme is very unforgiving.

If you are dealing with your own road traffic accident claim or have entrusted to the hands of less experienced legal practitioners then you may wish to think again

If you would like to know more about the specialist legal services we provide to victims of road traffic accidents on a No Win No Fee basis then please call our freephone number 0808 139 1606. Speak to one of our road traffic accident protocol experts for a FREE assessment of how we can help you.