Plans were recently revealed to overhaul the conditional fee arrangements in personal injury claims. The reforms would deduct personal injury lawyers‘ success fees from claimants’ compensation awards instead of having the defendant responsible for their payment.
Justice Secretary Ken Clarke remarked that the current state of affairs were being changed in order to ease the financial burden on both the NHS and businesses in the UK.
However one legal expert has said that the new proposals would end up denying claimants the right to the entirety of their personal injury compensation awards.
The expert stated that the run-of-the-mill claimant will have to pay for the sometimes quite costly legal fees by using funds from their compensation awards. As victims of personal injuries are awarded compensation to aid in improving their quality of life by providing support such as round the clock medical care, they may not be able to afford the services they so desperately need.
The expert said that the new system will defeat the venerable principle that those injured through no fault of their own are entitled to be compensated in order to put them back in the situation they would have been but for the injuries they received.
The expert was also disappointed that while the government entered into consultation with legal experts with practical experience of the system as it stands, not one of the constructive alternatives to the reforms were put forward.
As the general public will be directly affected by the changes to the compensation system, the expert urged people to make their feelings known that the Government is on the wrong track and should shift their focus to mending the economy of the country, which should include cutting costs in order to shrink the budget deficit.