25 February 2011
Defendant Delays Affect Costs of Personal Injury Claims
I was reading an article recently in the Law Society Gazette regarding the costs affecting personal injury claims. Prior to the Ministry of Justice overhaul of the Personal Injury Claims process, it was considered that Claimant Solicitors were charging fees that were too high for the cases that they processed. The MOJ Reforms sought, in part, to rectify that.
It is generally the case, however, that responsible Claimant lawyers carry out the best possible work in a timely manner that clients and their cases both demand & require. Now, it seems, there is evidence that delays by Defendants are causing the costs of personal injury and clinical negligence cases to rise unnecessarily.
A study carried out by the University of Lincoln, and commissioned by a claims referral company, suggests that the cost of a Defendants delay can be 6 times more than the cost of delay caused by Claimants.
An analysis of 20,000 cases apparently found that defendant delay costs on average £57.83 per day, compared with £8.49 a day for all other causes.This is no doubt intended as an observation, rather than to cause an 'us v them' war.
However, it seems clear that the Parties in any case ought to be committed to swift and timely justice for Claimants, without compromising the evidence or the outcome of any claim.
As a Claimant lawyer, it is often observed that an efficient working relationship with a Defendant counterpart can usually achieve that, but where there is delay, swift litigation can resolve the issue.
Tracey Graham is a Principal Lawyer in Personal Injury in the Manchester office of Slater and Gordon. If you or a member of your family has suffered an accident or injury call our expert personal injury solicitors on 0800 916 9046, fill in our short online claim form or email firstname.lastname@example.org and one of our specialist personal injury team will review your compensation claim for free.
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