APIL urges exclusion of patient deaths from fixed costs in negligence claims
By Law News
Association of Personal Injury Lawyers urges exemption of patient deaths from clinical negligence fixed costs
The Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL) has intensified its call upon the Government to exclude all cases involving patient fatalities from the impending fixed costs framework designed for lower-value clinical negligence claims.
According to Guy Forster, an executive committee member of APIL, cases involving patient deaths at the hands of the NHS necessitate greater time and sensitivity than what the new regime accommodates. While stillbirths and newborn deaths have already been exempted from the upcoming fixed recoverable costs scheme for claims under £25,000, APIL advocates for similar treatment for other tragic and preventable fatalities.
Despite APIL's efforts in reaching out to the Department of Health and Social Care (DoHSC) to address this issue, including requesting a meeting, they have not received any response. Guy emphasizes the urgent need for the Government to act promptly by revising the rules and excluding fatal cases from fixed recoverable costs, highlighting the lack of sensitivity in treating bereavements uniformly within the proposed regime.
The underlying concern persists regarding the lack of clarity on various aspects of the new regime, casting doubts on whether inquest costs will be reclaimable. APIL urges the Government to demonstrate compassion by reconsidering and removing fatal cases from the fixed recoverable costs, asserting that the current classification of fatal cases as 'low-value' stems from the government's reluctance to update laws and enhance bereavement damages, showing a lack of empathy towards grieving families.