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MoJ investigating Official Injury Claim Service case backlog amid Justice Committee concerns

29 November 2023

Approximately 385,000 claims that were started on the Official Injury Claim (OIC) Service system since its launch “remained unresolved” the Ministry of Justice has said in its response to the Justice Committee.

In its report published in September this year, the cross-party committee of MPs warned of a “growing number” of 349,000 unresolved cases in the OIC portal and called on the MoJ to investigate the backlog.

MPs on the Committee raised concerns that only “just over a quarter” had reached settlement, despite the system being set up in May 2021 as part of the Government’s Whiplash Reform Programme to reduce the number and cost of whiplash claims in England and Wales.

The report highlighted that for the minority of cases that have reached a settlement to date, the average time taken to do so is 251 days and was predicted to increase further as more complex cases, which have taken longer to reach conclusion, begin to settle.

The Justice Committee recommended the MoJ “investigates further the reasons for the growing number of unresolved cases and the deterioration in the timeliness of reaching settlement and publishes its findings by the end of the year”.

In its response the Government acknowledged the Committee’s concerns stating: “Timely progression of claims is of great importance to ensure access to justice and is therefore something we are currently investigating in detail.”

It added: “MoJ agrees that more work needs to be undertaken to better understand the flow of claims through the OIC process. Additional data will be published from January 2024 to help to provide greater clarity on the impact of dormant claims on outstanding claim volumes.”

The MoJ stressed that “context is an important consideration when looking at the issue of unresolved claims” adding: “As of 31 September, around 385,000 claims that were started on the system since launch remained unresolved.

“However, for a variety of reasons, not all of these are claims actively seeking settlement and this can distort settlement rate figures and timeliness. Whilst the majority of claims proceed through OIC towards settlement, there are an increasing number of claims sitting on the system where no positive action to move them forward has been taken for some time and could, therefore, be considered as dormant.”

Chair's comment

The Chair of the Justice Committee, Sir Bob Neill MP (Con, Bromley & Chislehurst), said:  

“The Committee welcomes the MoJ’s commitment to investigate in detail the timely progression of claims following concerns raised in our report on the workings of the OIC Service portal.

However, it is disappointing to see that unresolved claims now stand at around 385,000 – a 10% increase on the figure cited in our report. It is incumbent on the MoJ to examine the reasons for this and the Committee awaits the publication of additional data early next year relating to the impact of dormant claims on outstanding claim volumes.

One of the objectives of the OIC portal was to simplify and speed up the process of making a claim for whiplash injuries and it is vital that becomes a reality for all those using the system both represented and unrepresented.”

Further information

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