Generally, for personal injury claims which occur in a work context and which have a value of less than £25,000, the claim should be inputted onto the Employers’ Liability Portal at https://www.claimsportal.org.uk/. The purpose of the Portal was to ease the flow of information between Claimants and Defendants. Prior to the introduction of the Employers’ Liability Portal (and for current claims worth over £25,000), the usual position was that when Claimant solicitors wanted to notify the Defendant of a claim, they sent a detailed Letter of Claim directly to the Defendant. Often the Letters of Claim disappeared before they reached the insurers.
Today, all Claimant Representatives, such as Solicitors, should be registered with the Portal. When lodging a claim, a Claimant Solicitor ought to complete a Claims Notification Form (CNF) with the details of the Claimant, what happened, and what the injuries are. Before dispatching the CNF, the Claimant’s Solicitors ought to at first write to the Defendant to request details of their insurers. Once the Claimant’s Solicitors have this information, once the claim is lodged, the claim should be transmitted instantaneously to the Defendant’s insurers, where it ought to be speedily acknowledged. A copy of the CNF ought to be sent to the Defendant, too.
Once submitted, the Defendant’s insurers have a specific period of time – 30 days – in which to admit liability. If the Defendant’s insurers do not admit liability in this time, or if they allege the Claimant was partially at fault for the accident, then the claim will fall out of the Portal. If the claim falls out of the Portal, then the Defendant’s insurers have a longer period in which to respond to the claim. Generally, if a claim falls out of the Portal, the costs paid to the Claimant’s Solicitors, in the event that the claim is successful, increases. Therefore, insurers save themselves money if they respond quickly and appropriately to claims submitted in the Portal.
If liability is admitted in the Portal, then in due course the Claimant’s solicitors must submit the Claimant’s medical report and supporting Schedule of Losses in the Portal and make offers to settle the claim. If the Defendant’s insurers do not pay an interim payment in time, or if they fail to make an offer in time, then the claim will fall out of the Portal. If the parties cannot agree on the value of a claim inside the Portal, then it goes into Stage 3 – where a Judge will decide the value of the claim. It is very rare for a claim to go to Stage 3.
An injured person need not be too concerned as to how the Employers’ Liability Portal works, as it should not influence the value of the claim. However, a claim might progress more speedily if it remains within the Employers’ Liability Portal.
For more information on the Employers’ Liability Portal, check out the Civil Procedure Rules at https://www.justice.gov.uk/courts/procedure-rules/civil/protocol/pre-action-protocol-for-low-value-personal-injury-employers-liability-and-public-liability-claims