Nuvalaw, a legal technology company focused on insurance, and alternative dispute resolution (ADR) specialist Trust Arbitration have launched a solution for personal injury claims that are unable to be resolved through existing online mechanisms.
Personal injury claims that have reached Stage 3 on the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) Claims Portal or developed into liability or quantum disputes on the new Official Injury Claim portal represent a major issue for insurers, claimant lawyers, and claimants.
The average time to settlement for personal injury claims in 2019 was 40 weeks, but in 2020, owing to the impact of Covid-19 on the courts, the waiting period increased to 62 weeks, according to MoJ statistics.
Nuvalaw’s new tech platform and Trust Arbitration’s ADR service provide a solution for these and other disputed personal injury claims.
The cloud-based solution, which works seamlessly with the MoJ’s Claims Portal and Official Injury Claim, handles all aspects online through to final settlement and can reduce claims resolution times from the 400+ days required were the claim to be settled in court to three days or fewer.
The solution works by enabling insurers, third-party administrators, claimant law firms and other organisations representing claimants to resolve disputes by digital negotiation and then, if necessary, referring the claims to online arbitration.
Arbitrators review claims and make legally binding awards. They resolve claims on the basis of documents submitted (an asynchronous and therefore faster process) or via online hearings.
Willie Pienaar, chief executive of Nuvalaw, said: “There is an urgent need to speed up the resolution of claims and reduce costs relating to these cases, which have suffered further delays due to the pandemic.”
“Our proven technology is in place and the process is very straightforward to ensure that claimants, law firms, and insurers can resolve these cases much more quickly and cost-effectively.”
Tim Wallis, director of Trust Arbitration and its associated company, Trust Mediation, said: “We have coupled the infinitely flexible ADR process and proven technology to deliver online dispute resolution.”
“Our arbitrators are carefully selected, trained and monitored to provide the same high quality and demonstrably impartial outcomes as a court, but more quickly, more simply and less expensively on a slick, user-friendly platform.”
The solution’s launch follows successful pilots, which ran with two top-10 UK insurers and five law firms.
One of the pilots was with Minster Law, which said that ADR will eventually become the standard for finalising cases where settlement cannot be reached directly with an insurer. This was based on preliminary findings with the new claims resolution solution and a UK Tier 1 insurer, where personal injury motor claims were much more swiftly settled, with the quickest settlement time being just 24 hours.
“ADR delivers justice quickly, so it makes sense for customers, but also for insurers and for law firms,” said Shirley Woolham, chief executive officer of Minster Law. “It has the capability to become the standard means of settling volume claims and we are glad to have sponsored this pathfinding project.”