Alternatives to litigation
In AvMA’s experience, most people do not want to take legal action if they can avoid it. Many feel forced to take legal action because of a lack of openness and honesty; to hold people to account; or because this is the only way available to get the compensation they need and deserve.
This is why we are interested in any suitable alternatives to litigation that are fair to the injured party and less stressful and expensive for everyone involved. We have contributed to proposals for a “no-fault” compensation scheme in Scotland. We achieved significant safeguards in the NHS Redress Act (2006) which provides a basis for settling smaller claims without having to go through the courts in England and Wales. Its provisions are yet to be used in England but we contributed to the planning of the “Putting Things Right” scheme in Wales which is now in operation.
We support the use of mediation where appropriate.
However, we believe that the right to bring a civil claim is a fundamental right and that genuine access to justice in clinical negligence cases benefits society as a whole. Maintaining genuine access to justice for patients and families injured through no fault of their own is a top priority for AvMA.