Welsh authorities have added £15.2 million to the medical negligence risk pool in the past week and analysts see this as their expectation for more medical negligence cases to happen this year. However, health boards and medical groups iterate that it is not only because of the continuous drop in the quality of medical services, but also because of many legal representatives raising their legal fees.
Nevertheless, legal representatives point to another factor in the rising amount of the medical negligence risk pool; they mention that the advances in medical technology and victims having a longer life expectancy also raised the prices of medical negligence claims. Legal representatives say that a cerebral palsy case only received £4 million upon a successful claim. Today, the amount has reached £10 as medical boards have an obligation to carry out operations and treatments for the betterment of patients, which makes the payout more expensive.
The rising numbers of no win no fee claims companies are also a significant factor, according to health groups and analysts. While Chief Executive of the Law Society of England and Wales Desmond Huston says that no win no fee compensation claims are the victims’ last line of moral defence against medical groups and hospitals, experts say that it is undeniable that it is also adding to the bulk of medical negligence claim expenses. This includes considering the legal fees of the claims expert is 25% of the victim’s compensation amount.
Medical negligence claiming is a legal right proposed by no win no fee claims management companies, but it does not mean that they are abusing it. Andy Wigmore, policy director of the Claims Standards Council, says that claims companies make money if they find that at least one of the medical negligence claim they pass is completely legitimate. After evaluation, they cannot find out for sure if a clinical negligence claim is completely legitimate unless the experts pass it to the authorities.