Law Society response to MoJ’s new discount rate policy
Law Society president Joe Egan said: “For people catastrophically injured through someone else’s negligence this technical process is a very important part of our justice system.
“A regular review of the discount rate every three years clearly makes sense and will be of benefit to both claimants and defendants. We welcome the inclusion of an independent panel of experts assisting the lord chancellor.
“These proposed changes to the methodology for setting the rate must not undermine the key principle that those affected should get 100% of the compensation they are owed. Those who have suffered lifelong injury need to have reassurance that the sum the wrongdoer is ordered to pay will genuinely be sufficient to meet their needs for the whole of their lives and will not run out leaving them unable to afford necessary treatment and support. The needs of people seriously injured through another’s negligence should be considered to at least the same extent as the interests of defendants and the public purse.
“Claimants who are successful should be given the right to choose how they manage their compensation. In some cases lump sum payments are more appropriate and in others periodical payment orders are more suitable. Either way, claimants should always have a choice between a lump sum and a periodical payment order.
“Once again, we believe the MoJ should commission further and more in-depth research into claimant investment behaviour to confirm existing base assumptions.”