Legal Cost Specialists

When is an RTA not an RTA?

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, access to the Association of Costs Lawyer’s online Members’ Forum alone is arguably worth the price of ACL membership.

One of the favourite topics that keeps coming up is when is an RTA not an RTA for the purposes of the fixed success fee regime.

Endless fascinating examples keep getting thrown up but this is one of my favourites:

“I had a case where a poor old dear was casually sitting in her armchair reading when she was injured as a consequence of being blown across the room when a vehicle exploded in the road outside her home – and this was deemed to be an RTA, albeit one that occurred within the comfort of her own home!”

13 thoughts on “When is an RTA not an RTA?”

  1. The wonders of statutory draftsmanship, where of course you can say “In this Act, “black” shall mean white.”

    At the Oxford Union, which got a fair number of VIP visitors, the rules in my time used to say something like “Dogs may not be brought into the Society. For the purposes of this rule, a dog brought on to the premises by the police for security purposes is deemed a cat.”

  2. Isnt there a simple test these days, which will kill any future arguments?

    If its truly an RTA, then it must be uploaded onto the MOJ Portal. In which event, there must be an available RTA Insurer identified to do so.

    In most of the cases I’ve seen where this argument crops up (and its only when it gets to costs it does), there is no RTA Insurer

    Ergo, it cant be an RTA, as it falls outside the Portal scheme

  3. I remember a case where a bus driver’s seat adjustment went faulty and caused his back to hurt a bit when it moved. He finished his shift and then successfully sued. It was an RTA!

  4. The MOJ Scheme is irrelevant.

    CPR 45 in essence provides a checklist of factors. If all are present then its a RTA for fixed success fee purposes

    The rule is badly drafted. It is not what was intended but that is the result

    see cases such as Peter Vincent Edge v White Rose Environmental and Green v KIS Coaches

  5. While we’re digressing about the Portal, I found my pedantic soul being grievously offended last week. I had a letter in front of me referring to “an oral MOJ hearing”. What this actually referred to was a hearing to assess damages in the County Court. In other words it was a COURT hearing. Nothing to do with the MOJ at all. Just because the MOJ incepted the portal, that doesn’t mean the MOJ somehow has taken control of the assessment of damages.

  6. to annon:-

    I agree the CPR part 45 definitions set out the requirements for an RTA, but for a case to be adopted as required onto the Portal, there must be an RTA Insurer identifiable.

    In those undefined cases we are discussing, there simply isnt an RTA Insurer, and by definition therefore, it cant come under the Portal, which is to be remembered is the Protocol for Low Value Personal Injury Claims in Road Traffic Accidents.

    I agree totally the rule is badly drafted, but isnt that the way with most of the CPR, open to interpretation and manipulation because of the poor drafting and wording?

    And to think, the speed with which they are trying to force in the Jackson reforms!!

  7. But CPR 45 doesnt state that has to go via Portal. Portal and 45 are mutually exclusive in my opinion

    CPR 45 merely that if
    1. happended in england and wales
    2. involved use of motor vehicle and
    3. In public place

    then = RTA for success fee purposes.

    There have been a few public liability claims that have fallen foul to the above. Equally CPR 45 confirms that if could be classed also both employers liability and also RTA then the lower RTA success fee will apply. That is in the rules. Clearly in those circumstances the paymaster will be the EL insurer

  8. annon –

    actually, CPR does state that it should, please see 45.27 and 45.36, and the Protocol itself

    I agree with what you say about the lower sucess fee applying in hybrid EL/RTA’s, but the Portal can be activated in those cases because a MIDIS search will throw up details of the Car Insurer

  9. perhaps I am missing point hear but ….

    Are we not talking about non RTA claims meeting criteria to attract a fixed success fee for an RTA?

    CPR 45 covers success fees for RTA does not refer to portal at all – it cannot since it covers all RTA claims.

    fact is if it meets criteria of CPR 45 it will attract fixed success fee – even if the insurer was a public liability insurer

    I did post a further response this morning, it hasnt appeared. There was a case reported on Bailii confirming that a matter attracted PCR when (after a scan read) it seems that the case wasnt actually an RTA but deemed to be for costs purposes (Green v Kis Coaches)

  10. the wider implication, over and above the original success fee point posted by Simon, is the PCR point, which can be more devastating/annoying to claimant solicitors when they run a non-rta case, then have some draftsman afterwards say it is and offer PCR!

  11. do you mean …….

    Schneider v Door2door PTS Ltd [2011] EWHC 90210 (Costs) (18 July 2011)

    as published on bailii yesterday and referred to in my earlier post

  12. Pingback: Of course it’s a road traffic accident claim |

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