QOCS is a complex topic, and so the following is merely a summary of the key elements. For the majority of personal injury claims after 1 April 2013, QOCS applies. To understand QOCS, you need to appreciate what the position was before the introduction QOCS.
Pre-QOCS, in most personal injury claims, the Claimant‚ A claim would be supported by an insurance policy. Pre-QOCS, the purpose of the insurance policy was to protect the Claimant from the other side‚ A costs in the event that the claim was lost. If the claim was won ‚ A which was the majority of occasions ‚ A then the Defendant had to pay the Claimant‚ A compensation, and both parties‚ A legal costs and the Claimant‚ A insurance costs i.e. the Defendant would have a considerable financial burden to pay. The insurance policies were usually expensive.
The claims landscape changed on 1 April 2013. Generally, from this date, the compensation awarded for pain, suffering and loss of amenity was increased by 10%. At the same time, the costs that a Claimant solicitor could recover from the Defendant was substantially reduced. The increase in pain, suffering and loss of amenity compensation was increased so that essentially the Claimant‚ A solicitors could take a success fee from the Claimant‚ A past losses. The general idea is that a Claimant was in the same position as if the accident happened before 1 April 2013.
In addition (post-QOCS) if the Claimant loses the claim, then the Claimant doesn‚ A need to pay the Defendant‚ A legal costs as long as the Claimant‚ A claim was not fundamentally dishonest, nor struck out by the court. This means that after 1 April 2013 there is no need for costly insurance to support a claim. Today, if a Claimant fails to beat a Part 36 offer at trial, then they would have to pay a proportion of the Defendant‚ A costs up to the value of their Part 36 offer. In short, therefore, the introduction of QOCS was designed to save insurance companies money.
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