Fixed Costs RTA Case Study: Exemption under 4.5(3) of the Pre-Action Protocol

 

 

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Case Study: Fixed Costs (RTA) Exemption Under 4.5 (3) of the Pre-Action Protocol for Low Value Personal Injury Claims in Road Traffic Accidents

ARC Costs were recently successful in a claim for costs on a standard basis when the Paying Party argued that the case was a fixed recoverable costs matter. The case involved a claim for personal injury in a road traffic accident which started off in the Portal before proceedings were issued. In normal circumstances, this would mean that the claim falls under the fixed costs regime; however; the Defendant driver was deceased; and we were therefore successful in arguing that the Fixed Costs Protocol did not apply un this case under paragraph 4.5 (3) of the Pre Action Protocol for Low Value Personal Injury Claims in Road Traffic Accidents.

 

Understanding Fixed Costs in Claims for Road Traffic Accidents

Fixed Costs (RTA) apply in some Personal Injury claims for Road Traffic Accidents. The fixed costs regime came into force on 31 July 2013 and covers personal injury claims relating to Road Traffic Accidents that have been brought after this date. Fixed costs have also been introduced for some personal injury employers liability and public liability claims which are allocated to the Fast Track.

These costs are governed by Part 45 of the Civil Procedure Rules. CPR 45 implemented some changes by the introduction of the Pre-Action Protocol for Low Value Personal Injury Claims in Road Traffic Accident (‘ the PAP’).

Under The Pre-Action Protocol for Low Value Personal Injury Claims in Road Traffic Accidents, the case must be submitted to the MOJ Portal where the claim value is less than £25,000.

Most claims starting in the Portal will now be subject to fixed costs, except in specific circumstances.

The amount of fixed recoverable costs for an RTA case will depend on whether the matter settled within the Portal or outside of the Portal under the fixed costs in rule 45.18. 

Disbursements under RTA Fixed Costs are also recoverable. CPR rule 45.19 governs the types of disbursements which are capable of being recovered and the amount.

The cost of obtaining medical records, medical reports and non-medical expert reports are all recoverable. Court fees are also recoverable as per CPR 45.19(2) and CPR 45.29I.

 

Escaping Fixed Costs under Protocol 4.5 (3) of the PAP

In the subject case, the Paying Party argued that as the case started off in the Portal, fixed costs applied and they therefore offered the sum of £7,611 to include fixed profit costs and disbursements.

A member of our team successfully argued that as the Defendant had died as a result of the index accident, paragraph 4.5 (3) of the protocol should therefore apply.

Under the Introduction section of the Pre-Action Protocol, paragraph 4.5 states the following:

“This Protocol does not apply to a claim—

(1) in respect of a breach of duty owed to a road user by a person who is not a road user;

(2) made to the MIB pursuant to the Untraced Drivers’ Agreement 2003 or any subsequent or supplementary Untraced Drivers’ Agreements;

(3) where the claimant or defendant acts as personal  representative of a deceased person;

(4) where the defendant is a protected party;

(5) where the claimant is bankrupt; or

(6) where the defendant’s vehicle is registered outside the United Kingdom.”

Our team were ultimately successful in their arguments and agreed standard costs with the paying party. The final award of costs was agreed amounted to £21,500, which included profit costs of £11,207.68, inclusive of VAT.

 

How can ARC Costs assist with Fixed Costs RTA Disputes?

ARC Costs are a team of specialist Costs Draftsmen and Costs Lawyers who can assist in the recoverability of legal costs.

We hold experience in dealing with  Fixed Recoverable Costs disputes, and identifying exceptions to the rule to recover standard costs. We can assist in advising you on the level of costs which are recoverable under CPR 45 dependant on the case circumstances and the damages recovered or agreed.

Should you require assistance prior to the matter being settled and damages being agreed, we can advise you on the level of costs which are likely to be recovered under the Fixed Costs regime.

In some cases, we may be able to assist in disputing fixed costs that apply to RTA matters, and can assist in negotiating with the opposing party in order to narrow the issues between the parties prior to commencing detailed assessment proceedings.

Should detailed assessment proceedings commence, we can advise you regarding these and our Costs Lawyers can represent you at any hearing.  Our costs services are independent, and we can assist one of either the Paying or Receiving Party in any set of proceedings, and our costs services involve traditional costs services such as preparing Costs Budgets, Bills of Costs and negotiations.

Should you wish to discuss your costs query with us, please contact us on 01204 397302 or email the team at info@arccosts.co.uk. Alternatively, you may complete the enquiry form on our website and a costs expert will contact you to discuss your query.

 

 

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