Pardoes speaks out

Justin Goodman

Impending cuts to legal aid has sparked debate in the legal profession.

We catch up with Justin Goodman of Pardoes to find out why he is against the controversial plans, and the impact they could have on medical negligence claims.

Solicitors Pardoes, which has offices in North Somerset, has come forward to condemn the controversial Legal Aid Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Bill.

Set to become law in April 2013, senior decision-makers at Pardoes say the changes will seriously affect a person’s ability to pursue a claim for personal injuries, suffered as a result of medical negligence.

Talking to the North Somerset Business Leader, Justin Goodman, Partner and Head of Medical Negligence at Pardoes, had this to say: “The potential consequences of withdrawing public funding for clinical negligence claims may stop an individual’s ability to pursue a meritorious claim.

“In my opinion, Legal Aid is a service which the Government owes to the public, as a matter of principle.

“Just as the Government aims to protect the public against difficult obstacles in life, such as unemployment, disease and old age, it should protect them when difficulties arise as a result of another person’s actions.”

Justin also highlighed another effect of the new legislation – successful claimants will not be entitled to have their legal costs paid for by their opponents, which means they will have to fund these themselves.

This could mean the compensation that was intended to help the injured person after the accident, will instead have to be used to pay for the costs of pursuing their legal claim.

Under the existing rules this isn’t the case. Instead, successful claimants are entitled to recover an amount of money, which places them in a similar position to what they would have been in had their medical treatment been of an appropriate standard.

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