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It is of course in everyone’s best interests for less NHS money to be spent on compensation and both sides' legal costs and more on healthcare. However, it is not fair to suggest that one of the main burdens on the funding available is the “disproportionately high” legal costs incurred the injured patients’ lawyers.
In deserving cases, if there was an early admission of liability and quick resolution of the claim then costs could very easily be limited and proportionate. Unfortunately that rarely happens and Claimants’ lawyers have no choice but to press on with a claim in order to ultimately ensure the claim’s success. Those cases without merit are not pursued in any event and there are no costs consequences for the NHS.
Most people would agree that the best outcome for all would be better levels of healthcare but when things do go wrong an early acceptance of this and steps taken to put matters right. It is not the lawyers of injured patients who drive up costs but the NHS Litigation Authority whose approach can be unnecessarily obstructive leading to a drawn out legal process which no-one wants.
However, if Claimant lawyers are not allowed to fight for their clients in that climate, due to legal fees being capped any more than they already are, then that will only add insult to injury by denying damaged individuals access to justice.
Read here what Hannah Bottomley had to say on the same issue.