The impact that the pandemic has had on clinical negligence cases and after-the-event insurance was the subject of the latest in ARAG’s Talk with the Experts series.

 

The roundtable featured solicitors working on both the claimant and the defendant side of cases, as well as a barrister, a medical expert and our own ATE Underwriting Manager, James Morgan. The discussion was chaired by ARAG’s In-house Claims Counsel, Hector Stamboulieh.

Despite the diverse panel, there was broad consensus on many of the questions put to the experts, notably the unlikely prospect of a “tsunami of claims” in the wake of Covid-19 and several areas of improved working practices between claimant and defendant lawyers.

Mari Rosser, a partner and the Head of Medical Negligence at Hugh James, explained that the sudden and significant drop in new case enquiries at the start of the pandemic had bounced back quickly, but that the need to assess the risks of such cases in the light of pressures on the NHS, meant that fewer of them were being progressed.

From his experience representing clinical negligence defendants, Robert Tobin of Kennedys said that there were many aspects of the post-pandemic world to positive about, despite the challenges, including the use of remote hearings and remote mediation.

Stephen Grime QC of Deans Court Chambers in Manchester and Old Square Chambers in London gave his view that, while the courts had been slower to adapt, the profession had been quick to adopt the more beneficial aspects of remote working.

The interesting perspective of a medical expert, Vinod Kathuria of Tula Medical Negligence Experts, balanced the benefits or remote working with the difficulties and limitations of examining a claimant’s injuries without being able to examine them face-to-face.

Finally, James Morgan gave the underwriter’s view, explaining that it would be some time before all of the risks and the benefits of the post-pandemic clinical negligence landscape could be fully and properly assessed by insurers.

We’re very grateful to Vinod, Stephen, Robert and Mari for giving the time to share their diverse expertise and insight, and to all those who attended the roundtable.

If you’d like to watch the recording, you can view it here.

 

Disclaimer - all information in this article was correct at time of publishing.

 
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