Small claims court could ‘grind to a halt’ with road traffic accident claim reforms
Posted: March 20, 2013
Posted in: Road Traffic Accidents
The Government consultation “Reducing the number and cost of whiplash claims”, which is now closed, proposes to increase the number of road traffic cases which will be heard in the small claims court.
“The small claims court is designed for individuals to represent themselves, rather than use the assistance of a lawyer,” explained Karl Tonks, president of APIL.
“The problem is that evidence from family law cases, where there has recently been a huge increase in people representing themselves, shows that so-called ‘litigants in person’ can cause serious delays to the system.“
“Without a legal ‘buffer’ to help people understand the system, people struggle to comply with court rules and judges regularly have to halt proceedings to explain the legal process,” said Tonks.
“The Government’s proposals could force hundreds of thousands more road traffic injury victims into the small claims court. If the family law experience tells us anything, it tells us that the courts could grind to a complete halt and chaos will be the result.”
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