Legal costs in some lower-value medical negligence claims can be double or even triple the amount of compensation paid to patients.
Figures in the Medical Defence Union’s (MDU’s) annual report for 2021 reveal the average sum paid in claimants’ legal costs on medical claims settled for up to £10,000 was in excess of £18,500.
For claims settled between £10,000 and £25,000, the average was nearly £35,000.
The not-for-profit indemnifier called on the Government to proceed quickly with the reforms needed to the clinical negligence system to make disproportionate legal costs a thing of the past.
Its chief executive Dr Matthew Lee said: "Disproportionate legal costs are one of several defects in the current litigation system and particularly affect lower value claims.
"It cannot be right for legal costs paid to claimants’ lawyers to regularly exceed the damages paid to claimants by double or triple the amount."
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Source: Independent Practitioner Today, 9 August 2022