HL Deb 05 December 1996 vol 576 c61WA
Lord Chapple

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What plans they have to reduce the delays experienced by victims of road traffic accidents in bringing cases before the courts.

The Lord Chancellor (Lord Mackay of Clashfern)

I have accepted Lord Woolf s recommendations for the allocation of defended claims to a track system based on the value and complexity of the claim. I have already increased the small claims jurisdiction to £3,000 for all claims except those for personal injury. Litigants within the small claims track can expect to have their claims dealt with at an informal hearing, quickly and at relatively low cost. Cases under £10,000 that fall outside the small claims limit will be dealt with in the fast track. They are likely to be subject to a set timetable of 20-30 weeks, limited discovery, a trial confined to not more than three hours, no oral evidence from experts, and fixed costs. Work is currently being undertaken on the development of court procedures and finalising the level of fixed costs prior to consultation and implementation.