(PRWEB UK) 28 February 2013
UK Justice Secretary Kenneth Clarke has announced that the Government intends to save £350m a year on legal aid by 2015. When asked to clarify its position, a spokesperson for the Ministry of Justice stated, “At more than £2.1 bn per year, we have one of the most expensive legal aid systems in the world, which in the current financial climate we just cannot afford.”
In a bid to save the Government millions of pounds, the changes to legal aid will impact the public greatly, although knowledge of the changes is currently not very widespread. The proposed move in legislation is aimed at eradicating the so called ‘compensation culture’ in the UK, but will ultimately stop thousands getting access to legal aid with perfectly legitimate reasons. AYB Law, one of the UK’s leading claims solicitors has stepped up and responded to this proposed change and the way in which those most affected will be those who most need the help and assistance. The changes are most likely to hit the most vulnerable the hardest by removing access to legal aid for cases involving public bodies such as the NHS, local governments and a variety of other bodies. Whilst many claims are able to be handled on a no-win, no-fee basis, there’s still many which legal aid is important for.
For those who are injured through medical negligence or personal injury, the compensation received will be greatly reduced in addition to the tightening on the availability of legal aid. This is because some of the legal fees which were previously covered with legal aid will be deducted from the compensation that the injured person receives. In the current system the party who caused the injury pays the legal costs which will change as of April.
The intention of the legislation is to save the tax payer money, but in reality this will only happen in a small number of cases. The new legislation will limit the access to justice for those who need it the most. This will be particularly hard hitting for those who rely on compensation to meet the costs of essential ongoing treatment such as nursing care. This effects the victims much more than they deserve as the injury should not have occurred in the first place.
A spokesperson from AYB Law commented on the forthcoming legislation, stating “the reforms which are set to come into place in April are aimed to help the Government save money but the people they affect seem to have been forgotten about. Those who need the legal aid to get compensation they deserve will not be able to do so once the legislation comes into affect meaning that thousands of people will receive lower compensation rates for the same problems.
These reforms will punish the innocent injured victims at a time when they are most vulnerable and need the legal system to work on their side.”
In the case of medical negligence claims, the process can be long and difficult – often with ongoing care and modifications to homes. From April 2013, Legal Aid will be unavailable for medical negligence claims except for a small number of cases involving brain injuries and babies.
With this in mind, the importance of going to a solicitor who works on a no-win, no-fee basis is even more important and, with legal aid being pulled in the majority of cases, is going to be the only way in which victims can claim the compensation they are rightly entitled to.
AYB Law are a leading North-West based panel of personal injury, negligence and accident solicitors and are on hand to discuss no-win, no-fee claims with those looking to claim without having to use legal aid or pay any form of up-front fees.