A new court is to be established in Edinburgh which will deal exclusively with personal injury claims in Scotland in line which recommendations made in Lord Gill´s review of the Scottish court system.
The 2009 review found that personal injury claims in Scotland – which can currently be heard in the Court of Sessions if their anticipated value is in excess of 5,000 pounds – were taking too long to process and the system was becoming too expensive to maintain.
The news was greeted with general approval by trade union organisations and solicitors, who believe the new system will result in fairer and more consistent levels of personal injury compensation in Scotland when claimants have been injured in accidents at work, on the roads and in places of public access through no fault of their own.
Despite statistics showing no real increase in the number of personal injury claims in Scotland, one leading solicitor was quick to refute suggestions that the new court was needed because of a growing “compensation culture” in Scotland.
“‘Compensation culture’ is just a phrase that has been created to put people off making claims and save the insurance industry money” he said. “You don’t stop claims by preventing people who are injured seeking just redress. You stop claims by preventing accidents in the first place.”
Legislation next autumn is expected to confirm the establishment of the new court and it is anticipated that its venue will announced as Edinburgh´s Parliament House – where personal injury claims in Scotland are already heard by Court of Session judges, but who in future will be replaced with experienced Sheriffs.