Sadly it appears that Defendants' bad behavior is likely to be rewarded by the Governments latest proposals.
Defendants in medical negligence cases often behave badly. They unhelpfully delay disclosure, which leads to lengthy disputes, only to make an admission at the last minute. Doing so increases costs and unnecessarily prolongs the process. Therefore, it is difficult to see how the Department of Health’s recently announced proposal that claimants will only be entitled to recover fixed costs from defendants in cases with a financial value of £25,000 will work. Claims made by the most vulnerable – those who are elderly or have suffered a stillbirth for instance – tend to be the cases that are settled for less than £25,000. However, under the government’s proposals, specialist solicitors will be unable to advance that type of claim because they cannot work profitably owing to the limited costs that can be recovered.