The Ministry of Justice (MOJ) claims portal is an online hub where all parties to the claim enter required information, basic validation checks can be carried out, notifications can be sent to all parties to keep the claim process moving and time limits and deadlines can be set and clearly communicated to all parties.
Initially to deal with road traffic accident claims, the portal was later extended in 2013 to include claims relating to Employers’ Liability and Public Liability. It handles claims to the value of between £1,000 and £25,000, acting as an intermediary between the claimant and the defendant.
It was created with the intention of reducing the costs of making and processing a personal injury claim, and to manage the whole process in a more efficient and time-effective manner.
Who uses the MOJ portal?
The MOJ claims portal is used by both claimants and defendants. It is also used by insurers, organisations who may be subject to personal injury claims and legal representatives of either party.
There are four types of claim which can be processed through the MOJ claims portal. These are Employers’ Liability, Public Liability, Employers’ Liability Disease and Road Traffic Accident.
The most commonly submitted claims are Employers’ Liability and Public Liability.
All employers are responsible for ensuring the health and safety of their employees in accordance with the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.
An employers’ liability claim generally results from where an employee has suffered an injury at work. An injury could be physical, psychological or even result in death. The injury could be caused by using faulty equipment, for instance, or by working in an unsafe work environment.
Where you have developed an illness or been diagnosed with a disease as a result of your work environment and a lack in your employer’s provision of health and safety at work, your claim would be submitted under the Employers’ Liability Disease category.
Public liability claims result from accidents that happen in public places such as in a shop or a park, regardless of who is responsible for that public place, be that the local council or a private company.
It could be that you suffered a fall as a result of cracked and uneven pavements, were subjected to hazardous substances, or were injured as a result of a poorly maintained property.
What are the benefits of using the MOJ portal?
Firstly, using the MOJ portal reduces the costs of making and processing a claim which means that more people can afford to make a claim when they have suffered a personal injury.
The MOJ claims portal acts as an online hub which makes it easier and quicker to transfer information electronically between all parties, hence speeding up the claim process. This can be important when an injury has resulted in financial loss due to being unable to work or incurring other injury related expenses.
The MOJ portal system sets specific time limits and deadlines for responses and therefore prevents either party from ignoring or delaying communications.
Finally, the MOJ portal has already had a positive effect on the cost of insurance ‘after the event’, that is, the change in insurance rate charged once an accident or claim has occurred. The amount that an insurance rate rises after a claim has been made has noticeably become less since the MOJ portal has been brought into effect.
How to use the MOJ portal
Your personal injury claim is registered on the MOJ portal by completing a claim notification form (CNF). Each CNF will be assigned with a unique ID and an application ID.
Once submitted, the CNF will be sent to the defendant or their insurer, and you will receive an acknowledgement of your claim. This acknowledgement must be made within 1 working day. The defendant then has 21 days to respond to the claim. Where the defendant admits liability, the claim will remain on the MOJ portal. Otherwise, it will be removed.
Where the defendant accepts liability, both parties may enter into negotiation.
For an Employers’ Liability claim, the defendant must provide details of the claimants earnings within 20 days of admitting liability to demonstrate their employee’s loss of earnings as a result of the injury.
The claimant will be asked to provide evidence to support their claim. This could include, but not be limited to:
- medical reports and records, including photographs
- financial loss as a result of the injury
- related expenses incurred
- any relevant non medical expert reports
- witness statements
You will also be asked to state what amount you would accept as compensation for your injury.
All of this supporting evidence must be submitted within 15 days of the final medical report being approved.
This information (medical reports, financial loss, acceptable compensation) is referred to as the Stage 2 settlement pack.
Where required, the claimant may seek further supporting evidence after the Stage 2 settlement pack has been submitted for the purpose of valuing the claim. Extra time may be allowed for this.
Once this information has been forwarded, the defendant has 15 days to agree the amount of compensation put forward by the claimant or to make a counter offer. In the case of a counter offer, the defendant must explain any reduction in the amount of compensation to be paid.
This is followed by a period of 20 days during which time both parties should work toward an agreement over how much compensation will be paid to the claimant.
If both parties come to an agreement over the amount of compensation, the defendant has 10 days to pay after the agreement is reached.
Should no agreement be reached by the end of the 35 days, the claimant should send a Court Proceedings Pack (CPP) to the defendant.
The CPP should state:
- the claimant’s final schedule of losses and how much compensation they seek
- the defendant’s counter schedule and final offer of settlement
- related comments made by both parties
Once forwarded to the defendant, they must respond within 5 days, stating any amendments and the identity of their legal representatives, where either are relevant.
Further to this, the defendant has 15 days to pay to the claimant their final offer of compensation (less any interim payments), Stage 1 and Stage 2 fixed costs and any disbursements.
Should the defendant fail to make this payment, the claimant must notify the defendant that they are entering into legal proceedings. The claim is removed from the MOJ portal and the claimant must seek compensation through the court system.
What happens if the defendant denies liability?
Where the defendant denies liability for a claimant’s injury, the claim will be removed from the portal system and it will then be down to the claimant to decide whether to enter into legal proceedings.
The MOJ portal will only handle claims and does not investigate liability.
What happens if either party do not keep to the time limits or deadlines?
Where either party do not keep to the time limits or deadlines instigated by the portal system, the claim may be removed from the MOJ portal.
Why take legal advice?
Where you have suffered an injury through no fault of your own, take specialist legal advice to ensure that your claim is handled correctly through the MOJ claims portal and has the best chance possible of success.