A firm of medical negligence solicitors, based in Oxford, has expressed its support for the House of Lords peers who do not want the government to stop medical negligence claimants receiving legal aid.
Baroness Eaton, a Tory peer, explained that the most vulnerable members of society should be provided with a safety net.
Lord Thomas of Gresford, a Lib Dem peer, suggested that instead of abolishing legal aid, it should be dictated by the severity of an injury. He explained that people’s lives are sometimes altered forever because of the negligence of the medical profession and in those circumstances a humane society should cover the cost of pursuing the resultant medical negligence and personal injury claims.
Richard Money-Kyrle, a clinical negligence expert at Darbys Solicitors LLP, said that if the government removes the legal aid provision it’s as good as denying compensation to the least well off members of our society, particularly as the no win no fee system is also being dismantled.
He went on to say that the proposed changes to the no win no fee system will see claimants settling their legal fees out of their personal injury compensation, rather than the current system whereby the person at fault is responsible for the costs. The government’s proposals will leave a lot of people without access to justice, he added.
Lord Wallace of Tankerness, Advocate General and supporter of removing legal aid from medical negligence cases said he would seriously consider ministers’ concerns.