A Government rejection of insurance industry proposals to change the way compensation claims for terminal cancer patients are handled has been welcomed by lawyers today.
“Recognition that the consultation proposals would not help to settle cases quickly for mesothelioma victims shows that the Government has listened to impassioned arguments of victims, their families and their representatives,” said Karl Tonks, of the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL).
“We now look forward to working closely with the Government to see how the process can be improved for people who are dying from this horrific disease and whose life expectancy is very short,” he said, in response to a ministerial statement from justice minister Shailesh Vara.
But the association also voiced concern that mesothelioma victims will no longer be protected from reforms to the no win no fee system, implemented through the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders (LASPO) Act in April.
“We argued from the outset that the cost implications of the changes could mean that some mesothelioma claims may never be brought to court at all,” said Tonks. “In those cases which do go ahead, sufferers may have to make deductions from their damages to pay their costs, which they can ill afford to do.
“We understand the Government has conducted a review of this issue and we await justification for this decision.”
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•APIL (Association of Personal Injury Lawyers) is a not-for-profit organisation whose members are dedicated to campaigning for improvements in the law to help people who are injured or become ill through no fault of their own.
•For more information contact APIL’s press and communications officers Jane Hartwell on t: 0115 943 5416, m: 07808 768623, e: firstname.lastname@example.org, or Tim Carter t: 0115 943 5409, e: email@example.com.
•Visit the association’s website at www.apil.org.uk.
•Follow @APIL on Twitter: www.twitter.com/APIL.