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Plans To Reduce The Accident Claim Compensation You Receive

In his final report, Lord Justice Jackson has recommended a number of proposals to reform our so-called 'compensation culture'. So dramatic are these changes that far from improving the civil litigation system, they will in fact lead to a variety of damaging consequences, both for injured people and defendants.

To help you understand the impact the Jackson reforms will have on clinical negligence claims, we have prepared a series of articles which explore the new legislation in greater detail. This article takes a closer look at the changes being made to a claimant's damages.

Damages The Position Until 31st March 2013

Under the current system, a successful claimant will be awarded a sum of compensation which will be made up of General Damages (for pain, suffering and loss of amenity) and Special Damages (for the acutual financial loss he/she has incurred).

The sum of compensation awarded will vary from case to case. However, every compensation claim is considered according to a fundamental legal principle: that the injured person is entitled to be put back into the financial position they were in before the accident happened.

Damages The 1st April 2013 Changes

From 1st April 2013 any injured party is likely to have to use some of their compensation to pay part of their legal costs (including their lawyer's success fees and the cost of an ATE insurance premium).

To counter the effect these deductions will have, the proposals intend to increase general damages by 10%.

Consequences

While there is to be a 10% arbitrary uplift in damages, it simply is not enough of an uplift to outweigh the impact of the proposals. Compensation will be so severely reduced that victims will not be returned to the financial position they were in before the negligent incident.

A study carried out by Thompson shows that under the Jackson proposals, victims would have their compensation cut by an average of 22.5%. What makes matters worse it that a 1999 Law Commission report suggested damages were already too low and should be increased by 50%. However, the Law Commission report was never implemented. Thus the reduction under the Jackson reforms will make what is already a bad position even worse.

Therefore injured victims will be left without the correct amount of compensation, leaving them to pay for an injury caused by clinical negligence.

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Can We Help You With A Medical Negligence Enquiry?

Early legal assistance can be vital so please contact us if you would like to discuss your situation. Please call us free on 0800 234 3300 (or from a mobile 01275 334030) or complete our Online Enquiry Form.

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