As a result of the Coronavirus, Claimant lawyers and insurance companies have agreed to “law down their arms” on civil disputes. This measure is unprecedented and is a result of Claimant and Defendant solicitors seeking to gain an unfair advantage.
It has been reported that one defendant firm placed a 7 day limit on accepting an offer which was deliberately set too low. There has also been reports that Solicitors have been putting pleadings and offers in the post on the Friday prior to the lockdown in full expectation that solicitors would be working from home.
The protocol is to last for a minimum of 4 weeks effective immediately with a joint review to take place in the final week to determine whether an extension will be necessary. The protocol will include an agreement that all limitation dates in personal injury cases are frozen with claimants undertaking to respond constructively to defendant requests for an extension of time to serve a defence.
A spokesperson for the association of Personal Injury Lawyers said it has supported the protocol as a way of helping the system work for injured people.
In order for parties to adhere to the protocol, leadership teams in firms and insurers will establish a “hotline” for opponents to report to their staff are failing to adhere to the arrangement.
Regrettably, solicitors have been using the Corona Virus as a means of getting the upper hand on the opposition however the measures that have now been taken will help claimants and insurers alike. Since the protocol came into force on Tuesday 24th March 2020, more than 10 Claimant firms have signed up to the protocol.
Should you need any help or support, please contact our dedicated Personal Injury Helpline on 0161 694 4155