Fixed Fees For Lower Value Cases
This could affect cases as large as £250,000. Unfortunately it has the potential to create a David and Goliath future. Insurers will still be able to fund cases while claimants have their purse strings restricted. We are proud of our justice system and hope that genuine claimants will still be able to get the right advice and compensation if fixed fees are introduced.
NHSLA Mediation Scheme To Be Extended
There has been an NHS pilot scheme, focussing on elderly care and fatal claims. This tries to settle cases in a less adversarial way by using mediation. So far, both patients and clinicians thought it encouraged resolution with about 80% of the cases settled this way. We do not yet know how well it will work in higher value or more complex cases. Mediation also gave families a “voice” as well as an explanation and apology if appropriate. We welcome any move to speed up clinical negligence cases so long as clients remain properly compensated and represented.
Discount Rate for Future Losses To Be Announced
On 31st January 2017, the Government will set the new discount rate. This is a figure which determines the calculation of future losses in personal injury and clinical negligence cases. For clients with high annual costs this rate can make an enormous difference to the total compensation awarded.
Thanks go to the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL), which threatened legal proceedings when nothing had been announced by the Government 4 years after the consultation ended. We hope that when the new rate is announced next year it will ensure future clients receive the right amount for their long term needs.