Fixed Costs Recommendations for Hearing Loss Claims Published

Article

17 October, 2017

The Civil Justice Council has published a report making recommendations for fixed recoverable costs and improvements to claims management in noise-induced hearing loss cases.

There has been a significant increase in the number of Noise-Induced Hearing loss claims which prompted the Government to ask the Civil Justice Council to look into:

  • how the handling of NIHL claims could be improved, with a view to cases being resolved more quickly and with the costs reduced, and
  • how a fixed costs regime for these cases might work.

The working group acknowledged that it is in both claimants' and defendants' interests that these claims are handled efficiently by both sides in the initial pre-issue stages, to avoid unnecessary costs being incurred and to ensure that all parties get the earliest possible resolution of a claim.

The recommendations include a matrix of fixed recoverable costs for the pre-litigation stages and those claims which remain in the fast track and improvements to the pre-action process, such as requiring claimants to provide more detailed letters of claim, including an audiogram from an accredited audiologist and a schedule of employment from HMRC.

Forbes comment

The proposals echo and supplement those set out in Lord Justice Jackson's report on fixed recoverable costs published in July. If adopted the recommendations will inevitably help to avoid unnecessary costs being incurred and will ensure that all parties get the earliest possible resolution of a claim.

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