PI Bar offers tentative support for Govt structured settlements

The personal injury (PI) Bar offered 'two cheers' for Government plans to introduce structured settlements at its recent spring conference

The Government has been consulting on the idea of introducing structured settlements as a means of providing for the long-term care of injured parties, as an alternative to conventional lump-sum awards.
“No doubt, health ministers are attracted by the opportunity of reducing their immediate, short-term liabilities to pay damages,” said Matthias Kelly QC, president of the Personal Injury Bar Association and vice-chair of the Bar Council.
Structured settlements can provide this, but Kelly warned that ministers should be explicit that the opposite situation could arise and that “the long-term costs of such settlements could ultimately be much greater”.
“So it's two cheers for the idea of structured settlements, but some more work needs to be done on making sure we all know how the costs are going to be apportioned at some point in the future,” he told delegates.
Kelly also attacked claims handlers for “selling people short”. “Either we have a civil justice system which has the goal of awarding people who have suffered the full compensation to which they're entitled, or we settle for a dubious, rough and ready, cheap and not very cheerful system, which in my view doesn't serve the public interest,” he said.