And so it finally happened. Years and years of committees, revisions and arguments. Delay after delay after delay. It became almost myth but, yes, the personal injury whiplash reforms were delayed no more and, on Thursday night, the rules were finally published.
I spent time reading over the new revisions and rules and considered the wider impact to our personal injury team and ourselves within the credit hire team. And I was reminded of a blog I wrote in November 2020, the key to survival is to adapt. And adapt we will do once again.
Something else that struck me, however, was the number of personal injury claims which are progressed but have a credit hire claim waiting in the wings. Both the personal Injury and the credit hire would stem from the same accident and, ultimately, should court proceedings be required, then these two “heads of loss” need to be included within the same claim.
In today’s modern world, this means that should your personal injury claim be required to move on to “Stage 3” of the portal - a digital claims portal allowing both claimant and defendant practitioners to correspond and hopefully reach settlement – then you are required to include any additional heads of loss for vehicle related damages including any claims for credit hire.
Quite often, and frustratingly so for credit hire companies, this sometimes does not happen.
If the claim proceeds to Stage 3 or court proceedings are issued and the credit hire charges are not included, then this effectively means you are prevented from later bringing a claim for said charges.
If you are a credit hire company, this can be especially frustrating as it may mean you will have to consider pursuing your customer directly for the hire charges.
For the customer, this can be even more daunting if the credit hire company are asking for payment of hire charges upwards of thousands of pounds.
It may be that the solicitor dealing with your personal injury claim did not ask you about any other losses, in which case, you may potentially be able to bring a professional negligence claim against that solicitor.
If that solicitor did ask you about other losses and you told them there were no losses (perhaps forgetting about the credit hire charges), you may find yourself having to agree a payment plan with the credit hire company.
If your personal injury solicitor has settled your claim for injuries at “Stage 2” or earlier, Stephensons hs been particularly successful in bringing claims for credit hire charges as is allowed for by the civil procedure rules.
If you are a credit hire company and you are struggling to recover the outstanding hire charges following a Stage 2 settlement scenario, then our credit hire team at Stephensons are excellently placed to assist you. Further still, given our combined experience in both fields of personal injury and credit hire, we are ideally placed to run both claims at the same time.
Feel free to get in touch with our specialist team on 0161 696 6235 if you need assistance.