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A Charity Group Opposes the UK Government’s Plan to Trash Medical Negligence Legal Aid

May 9, 2012 by  Filed under News


The UK government’s plan to cut the legal aid for medical negligence has been vehemently opposed by a charity group called the Action against Medical Accidents. According to this charitable group, the move on the part of the government is totally baseless and would affect the poor victims of clinical negligence in a negative way. Helen Niebuhr, a successful medical negligence solicitor, says that with the new system setting in, she will not be able to undertake medical malpractice cases any more. According to her, the trial cost can be up to 200,000, a huge amount which no family in the UK can fund. Though the government assures that the money would be paid by the insurance companies, many no win no fee solicitors are unsure of its effectiveness.

The Ministry of Justice emphasizes that the scapegoats of clinical negligence can seek legal funding from the investment firms that are looking to earn some profit. According to the UK government, while £17million is spent a year for legal aid, £270 million will be saved if the plan to scrap medical negligence aid is allowed to proceed. To counter this statement, the Action against Medical Accidents (AvMA) says that £17million is a nominal amount when compared to the allotted £2.2 billion for clinical negligence legal aid.

After World War II, the English people were promised to offer equal access to justice irrespective of their financial position. However, a bad economy made it hard for the government to keep the promise. However, after a lot of debate a bill is passed in the Parliament to ensure that the children and the poor citizens will have free legal aid. The Justice department has ventured to effect amendments to the “no win, no fee” clause so that the solicitors may not pester their losing clients for money. According to the department of justice, the no win no fee solicitors are only entitled to get a small percentage of the compensation that is awarded.

The Action against Medical Accidents (AvMA) claims that this move will discourage the victims from making their rightful claims. It insists that the legal founders will receive so many offers that they will find it difficult to treat all the victims of clinical negligence. This is making the victims land up in a position where neither side will work for them.

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