Pre-action protocol for personal injury and damage only traffic accident claims published on 6 February 2023. 

After significant discussions, a pre-action protocol has now been put in place that puts pressure on the plaintiff to disclose information such as:

  • Plaintiff’s date of birth
  • Details of the claim being presented
  • Confirmation in relation to impecuniosity
  • Confirmation if the vehicle is road worthy
  • Confirmation if the plaintiff is a taxi driver

Significant information is also required in relation to details of the hire, i.e., if it is ongoing and identifying the relevant points in relation to the hire.

Head of HF Northern Ireland, Matthew Fitzpatrick commented the pre-action protocol is more than welcome in providing clarity for insurers to be able to deal with matters pre-issue. The difficulty that insurers have always faced in Northern Ireland is that sometimes they are left with no opportunity whatsoever to enter into discussions with the plaintiff and their representatives to bring matters to a swift, amicable and indeed cost effective resolution. We put forward a pre-action protocol that provided penalties and consequences for non-compliance with the pre-action protocol and indeed we maintain that that would be the best course of action to take from insurers when getting these matters resolved with quick and cost effective action.

Whilst the pre-action protocol can be used as a guide, HF will continue to lead the way, providing guidance to insurers not just in relation to litigated matters but also providing bespoke industry leading tactics in relation to getting matters settled pre-issue therefore keeping both costs and damages to a minimum, ultimately allowing for policies to be written in Northern Ireland that benefit all policyholders.

If you wish to discuss this matter at any stage please contact Matthew Fitzpatrick on 028 9433 6461 or email