Medical Negligence Claims To Reduce Significantly Whilst Negligence Rises?
BY 1st Claims for Medical Negligence
The proposed changes to No Win No Fee Medical Negligence Claims which will, if they proceed, mean that the innocent victim will no longer be able to keep all of their compensation. Whilst at the moment the success fee is paid by the losing party, on many occasions the National Health Service, the changes suggest that this should now be paid for by the claimant. Imagine on the one hand explaining to your client that their claim is worth £500,000 and that is the amount needed to rebuild their life, and then in the next sentence explaining that they will only receive £375,000 as you need the rest to pay your legal fees. How long will it take, do you imagine, for the press to pick up on this and come chasing after these “money grabbing” lawyers who are taking lots of money from all of these innocent medical negligence victims? Can you already see the pressure you are going to face to stop taking your success fee from the victim?
Yet we all know that in medical negligence cases there is a much more significant risk that you will lose a claim as against a standard personal injury claim. So on many occasions you will be carrying out all of the investigatory work necessary to establish whether there is a viable claim only to find out that you cannot proceed, and all of that work which is supposed to be compensated by your success fee from other cases will not be paid for.
The harsh truth is that this will make you much more careful about which claims you can or cannot take on. You will only be able to act for clients with high volumes of compensation and low levels of risk, vastly reducing the victim’s access to justice. What is perhaps more important, and more frightening, is that this means that in a high percentage of cases where there has been negligence no action will be taken. That will leave practitioners free to continue to keep on committing the negligence without punishment or improvement in systems being made, leading to more people suffering. As so often happens with this country we focus on the symptoms not the cause. If the Government put as much time focusing on the cause of all of the medical negligence, rather than trying to stop people making claims, we would live in a country with far less medical negligence, far less injury, and far less suffering for innocent victims.