Medical negligence solicitors’ costs spiral out of control

The costs of settling medical negligence cases have spiralled out of control in the last 30 years. This year, the MDU has paid out an average £44,500 in claimants’ costs, on behalf of doctor members, compared to just £1,300 in 1981.

The Chief Executive of the MDU, Dr Christine Tomkins, wants to see an end to these excessive legal costs. She pointed out the medical negligence solicitors costs have accelerated at a much faster rate than inflation and often the costs are completely out of proportion to the damages received by the patient.

Meanwhile, we’ve heard a lot about the compensation culture recently and people submitting fraudulent personal injury claims in the hope of getting personal injury compensation. But you may not have expected to hear that an insurance company employee had also been committing fraud.

Steven Curl, aged 45, handled personal injury claims at AXA Insurance and his position enabled him to check vehicle registration details through credit checking service Experian. However, he also illicitly accessed DVLA records to confirm vehicle’s ownership details. The majority of vehicles he tracked through the DVLA system were not the subject of an accident claim. Rather he used his position to indulge his hobby of bus spotting!

AXA was faced with a bill for £10,983 for these unauthorised checks between 4th December 2007 and 14th October 2009. Curl has since lost his job and will be sentenced on November 4th. He also faces a Proceeds of Crime hearing in January next year.

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