How Can I Fund A Medical Negligence Claim
When considering suing the NHS for medical negligence in the UK, potential clients and victims of medical negligence are particularly worried about how to fund their medical negligence claims. Many have had to put off seeking justice for harm done to them due to negligent treatment because of the fear of paying upfront legal funds.
Our NHS Medical Negligence Solicitors are available to guide you on the best approach to fund your medical negligence claims in the UK
Medical Negligence Definition:
Medical negligence sometimes called clinical negligence occurs in a medical professional’s action or inaction which in turn causes harm or exacerbates the condition of a patient under his care. Here the care the patient receives falls below standard and leads to an avoidable injury causing severe impacts to the general health and wellbeing of the patient.
What are the groups of medical negligence claims can I make?
Our medical negligence experts can assist you with whatever kinds of medical claims you may want to make as a result of harm suffered due to negligent treatment you may have been subjected to by your medical professional. These include but not limited to:
- Birth Injury Claims
- Spinal Cord Injury Claims
- Orthopaedic Claims
- Stillbirth Negligence Claims
- Care Home Negligence Claims
- NHS GP/ Doctor Negligence Claims
- Cancer Misdiagnosis Claims
- Brain Injury Claims
Information and Documents Needed To Make A Medical Negligence Claim
It is important that certain information and documents are provided to make a claim and prove that the injury or harm suffered was as a result of negligent treatment from the medical professional. In other words, it must be proven that a doctor-patient relationship existed; the doctor must owe the patient a duty of care; the duty of care was not sufficiently fulfilled; the action or in action of the doctor led to the harm suffered; the harm suffered is significant and has had great impact on your life. Documents usually needed to prove a medical negligence claim include:
- Detailed statements which includes your medical condition necessitating the need for a treatment, the Doctor or medical professional that attended to you, the diagnosis made and type of treatment received, harm suffered and why you think the harm suffered was as a result of negligence.
- Other medical records and results relevant to the claim
- Witness statements
- Financial losses suffered
- Reports from an independent medical expert after performing an examination on you.
You do not necessarily need to have all this information ready before seeking the services of our Medical Negligence Solicitors as we will assist youin the gathering of all the evidence needed to make a successful claim.
No Win No Fee Medical Negligence Solicitors
Funding Medical Negligence Claim
Funding Medical negligence claims can be complex and daunting for potential clients which is why some who have valid claims have decided not to seek justice. However, the sets of information below explains the types of medical negligence funding available.
Classification Of Medical Negligence Funding:
Funding through legal aid has been restricted by the Government to only a handful of cases. In medical negligence claims, public funding through a legal aid agency is only available to birth injuries claims where there is a brain injury to the child (such as cerebral palsy) occurring within the first 8 weeks of the child’s life.
An interesting advantage of the Legal Aid medical negligence funding is that legal fees are not deducted from the Claimant’s compensation award value unlike the No Win No Fee Medical Negligence funding. If your medical claims fit the criteria for a legal aid, our solicitors will assist you to obtain public funding for your case.
The Legal Aid Application Process
- Our medical negligence solicitors will obtain the needed documents and medical records and assist you make an application to the Legal Aid Agency. The Legal Aid Agency will most likely respond to applications within 3 weeks of receiving them.
- If the application is successful and funding is approved, we will commence working on your case. We would also provide periodic reports to the Legal Aid Agency (LAA) on the progress of the claims and request for further funding if need be. This way it is very unlikely that there will be any deductions from your compensation award.
- However, if the application for legal aid funding is denied, you may have to choose other forms of medical negligence funding.
Legal Expenses Or Before The Event Insurance (BTE):
Legal Expenses also known as “Before The Event Insurance” are another way clients may fund their medical negligence claims. Existing legal expenses insurance policies such as home and content insurance, motor or travel insurance, banks and credit card companies provide insurance cover for their policyholders. While some Legal Expense insurances do not include cases involving medical negligence in their policies, some do include medical negligence but have specific panel solicitors that must handle the case for their clients. In other words, you would have to look at what the policy of your insurer entails, claims eligibility status and preferred choice of solicitors.
Usually the amount of money that may be available from the Legal Expenses for funding the case can be in the range of £50,000 to £100,000. Should the money be exhausted before the case is concluded, especially in cases where the defendant denies any liability, then other avenues for funding may be sought.
With Legal Expense insurance, no deductions will be made from your compensation.
Conditional Fee Agreements (CFA)
No Win No Fee Agreements known legally as Conditional Fee Agreements or CFAs are the most common type of funding. At NHS negligence claims, we offer No Win No Fee medical negligence claims where there are no other forms of funding available.
This means you will only have to pay fees if your cases is successful. When the case is successful, the Defendant is mandated under the General Litigation rules to pay the claimants legal costs. This will cover for time spent on the cases, fees incurred during the cases, (fees for obtaining medical records and other court fees).
When the case is successful, the claimant will have to pay success fees. A success fee of 25% is paid and is calculated for two types of compensation. The 25% only relates to the compensation received for general damages and past losses. It does not include compensation received for future anticipated loss.
Calculation of the 25% success fee payment explained
The total success fee would be calculated as 25% of £230,000= £57,500. However, if the legal cost is £50,000, the success fee would be reduced to £50,000 (VAT Inclusive).
Although you wouldn’t have to pay any legal fees if the case is unsuccessful, you will be required to pay for any expenses incurred in the course of the case. These are the same costs (sometimes called disbursements) the Defendant would have paid had the case been successful.
To protect you against this, we recommend that our clients have an insurance cover also called “After The Event´ (ATE) insurance policy. The insurance policy would take care of costs incurred in an unsuccessful case so that you wouldn’t have to pay.
Trade Union Funding
Some Trade Unions may provide their members access to funds to pursue their claims using Trade Union Funds. Not all Trade Unions provide access to Legal expense for every type of medical negligence claim. Therefore, it is important to check with your Trade Union for your eligibility status. Our Legal team can help you make enquiries with your Trade Union to see if you meet their criteria. If you have never been a member of any Trade Union, or your medical negligence claim is not eligible for their funding, then you would have to try other funding options.
Our Medical Negligence Claims Experts will make an assessment of your claim and discuss with you the terms, payment formula, rates and other expected costs and disbursements that may be incurred in the course of investigating a case if you decide to fund your claim privately. Medical negligence cases can however be very expensive and there this funding option is not commonly adopted by clients.
For further information on negligence claims funding, please contact our Medical Negligence Solicitors.