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Financial Help with Medical Negligence Claims

Clinical negligence claims are among the more expensive types of claim. 

They can require a large amount of a solicitor’s time and energy, due to the necessity of checking through medical records and identifying the right medical experts with whom to liaise.

Indeed, it is not unheard of for the initial investigation itself to cost as much £5,000. If you think this is a lot of money, it is not even comparable to what the outlay might be if the case were to go to court. The costs for both sides if this came to pass could exceed £100,000.

If you are successful with your case your costs are recovered from the defence, but if you lose you will have to pay not only for your own costs but also those of the defence by whom you were conquered, meaning that in light of what was discussed above, the total cost to you could be a massive £200,000 if you were to fail to win.

Given the magnitude of these figures, you must be ultra-cautious when considering making a clinical negligence claim, as you could end up in a much worse position than you started in. This risk can however be alleviated if you can secure a conditional fee arrangement.

Conditional fee agreement (CFA)

This type of agreement is more colloquially known as no win, no fee, where payment is only due to the solicitor if they are successful in winning the case. Due to the obvious risk of such an agreement to the law firm, this kind of setup is usually only offered where there is a very high chance of the case succeeding. This type of arrangement is only likely to be offered once medical records have been obtained and a report has been written by a medical expert, except in cases where the solicitor is very experienced in assessing medical negligence claims and is given to taking risks.

While you will not pay any fees to the solicitor if the case is lost, payment called disbursements may still have to be made to the law firm. More burdensome, however, will be the defence costs which you will be liable to pay the majority of. As mentioned earlier, these could amount to as much as £100,000. Due to the possible size of this sum it is vital that you have insurance against this liability.

Public funding (Legal Aid)

Before April 2013, medical negligence claimaints were able to qualify for legal aid if their case had a good chance of succeeding and their income was below a certain amount.

However, since the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishing of Offenders (LASPO) Bill came into effect, funding has been restricted to very serious cases involving children, where the injury has been sustained during birth or in the first eight weeks of life. 

While you will not pay any fees to the solicitor if the case is lost, payment called disbursements may still have to be made to the law firm. More burdensome, however, will be the defence costs which you will be liable to pay the majority of. As mentioned earlier, these could amount to as much as £100,000. Due to the possible size of this sum it is vital that you have insurance against this liability.