Medics are expected to exercise reasonable skill when performing their duties, in order to keep their patients safe. However, mistakes can happen in any professional situation, regardless of how well trained, skilled, experienced and caring the professionals are. When these mistakes occur, resulting in injury or distress for the patient, this could be negligence.
If you have suffered as the result of negligence, we can help you to claim compensation for your injuries and raise awareness to make sure that lessons are learned and nobody else has to experience the same mistakes.
We know that it can feel daunting to approach a lawyer, especially if you want to challenge the treatment and care you have received. In particular, you may be worried about how much it might cost to make a claim against the NHS or a private health provider. In this guide, we explain how you can fund your claim for medical negligence, and what options are open to you.
How will my medical negligence claim be funded?
We are happy to provide you with a free no obligation consultation in which you can explain what has gone wrong and why you believe that there has been negligent treatment and care which has caused injury. We will then explain the legal tests which need to be established to pursue a claim and advise you on the various options of action you can take.
If you decide that you wish to pursue a claim for financial compensation, we will advise you on the various funding options to pursue your claim and help you decide the most suitable funding arrangement for you.
No Win, No Fee/Conditional Fee Agreement
Most medical negligence claims are investigated and pursued under a No Win, No Fee Agreementotherwise known as a Conditional Fee Agreement. Put simply, this means that there is no upfront cost to you for us to investigate your claim. If your case is successful, you will be awarded 100% compensation and the costs we incur in investigating your case will be recovered from your opponent (the defendant), together with any disbursements incurred. If, for any reason, there are insufficient prospects of success to pursue your case, then we will notify you of the reasons why, and will then write off the time and costs incurred and close your file of papers.
It is important to note that under a No Win, No Fee Agreement or Conditional Fee Agreement, prospects of success must remain above 51% to proceed. If prospects fall below 51% then we will advise you of this and the possible options available to you.
If your claim is successful, you will be awarded 100% of the compensation offered.
Depending on your opponent’s liability position, you may be advised to have insurance put in place called After the Event Insurance or ATE.
After the Event Insurance/ATE
This type of insurance protects you throughout the claims process in relation to any disbursements incurred for medical reports, court fees, barrister’s opinion and also your opponent’s fees in the event that your claim is unsuccessful. The cost of this premium is not paid upfront and may only be deducted from your compensation at the conclusion of your claim. The cost of the policy will be a percentage apportion of the value of your claim and will be a nominal amount in comparison to the compensation award. The cost of the premium varies according to the total value of your claim, and we will therefore be able to give you a more accurate idea once investigations are underway and evidence is made available. You may also be able to recover a proportion of the premium from your opponent which directly relates to the liability issues of your claim. If your case is not successful, the cost of the policy will be written off and you will not be expected to pay anything.
Legal Expense Insurance (LEI)/Before the Event Insurance (BTE)
You may have the benefit of a legal expense insurance (sometimes known as Before the Event Insurance or BTE) which you may have taken out with your household policy insurer, motor policy insurer, via a trade union membership or credit card or bank account. If you do have legal expense insurance, we will be happy to consider the policy wording on your behalf to ensure it covers medical negligence and if so, we will be happy to advise you and liaise with the company on your behalf.
Legal Aid Funding
To be eligible for state funding in the form of Legal Aid, the claim must relate to a child who has suffered a neurological injury arising from medical negligence which has caused severe physical and/or mental disability.
Further, the negligence must have occurred whilst in the womb, during birth or within a certain time (if born before the beginning of the 37th week of pregnancy – eight weeks from what would have been the beginning of the 37th week or, if born after the 37th week of pregnancy – eight weeks from the day of the child’s birth).
We will be happy to consider this aspect of funding on your behalf and assist with the necessary application process.