This article is published as part of Capsticks’ Medical Malpractice Forward View 2022.

The government is opening a consultation on fixed recoverable costs in low value clinical negligence claims. For many years it has been said that costs in such cases become disproportionate to damages being awarded. The proposed scheme does not prevent parties pursuing claims in the courts if agreement cannot be reached although it aims to avoid litigation, as well as for a rapid exchange of evidence for faster agreement on liability, causation and quantum. Claims would be assigned either to a light track or standard track according to their complexity. Two resolution stages would be built in: a ‘stocktake’ meeting between parties and a neutral evaluation by a barrister to resolve as many cases as possible. Costs would be limited to £6,000 for standard track claims plus 20% of damages agreed. For claims in the so-called ‘light’ track, proposed recoverable costs are no more than £1,500 plus 10% of damages.

Claimant representatives have argued that the proposals would stop patients securing the representation and compensation they deserve while some defendants feel the proposals do not go far enough. Whoever is right, what seems almost inevitable is that some change in this long standing problem of how to deal proportionately with low value claims will occur. The consultation on the proposals closes on 24 April and Capsticks will be working with the Forum of Insurance Lawyers (FOIL) on a response.

Medical Malpractice Forward View 2022 

This article is part of Capsticks’ Medical Malpractice Forward View 2022

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