Claims and Court Cases
As in England, reliable accurate information as to the number of claims for damages, the success rate, the amounts paid and their mode of disposal is unfortunately unobtainable. Making a relatively accurate guess is perhaps even more difficult than in England and Wales, because the statistical sample is much smaller and accordingly subject to random changes. The population of the country is about one-tenth that of England and Wales. One would expect, therefore, that figures in the region of one-tenth of those for England and Wales would be correct, unless there is a very significantly different incidence of claims in Scotland. It is sometimes suggested that the incidence of claims per patients in Scotland is lower than it is in England and Wales (see e. g. The Influence of Litigation on Medical Practice, proceedings of a conference of the Royal Society of Medicine 16–18 May 1977, ed. Wood, pp. 34–35). The only material that gives any factual support to this belief is the figure for the number of cases in court in Scotland in 1974 as contained in the Report of the Royal Commission on Civil Liability and Compensation for Personal Injury, Cmnd. 7054, H. M. S. 0.1978, Volume 2 p. 178 para. 579. This indicates that medical negligence claims amounted to only 0.4% of all personal injury cases in the courts in Scotland in that year, which was only about two-thirds of the rate for England and Wales. However, there are a number of factors which make the conclusion of a lower incidence of claims in Scotland very doubtful.
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