No Win No Fee Clinical Negligence: How to fund the legal cost of making a UK medical negligence claim
No win no fee clinical negligence: find out the legal costs involved in making a clinical negligence compensation claim, how to use legal protection insurance, legal aid and no win no fee agreements as well as how the law differs in the various countries that make up the UK.
Does the working of the legal aid system and no win no fee agreements for clinical negligence apply equally across the whole of the UK?
“No,” the rules for funding of medical negligence claims vary across the UK depending upon where the injury occurred.
The law in England and Wales is the same. Northern Ireland and Scotland have some significant differences.
This page is written for the law in England and Wales, but if a claim for clinical negligence originates elsewhere in the UK an appropriate clinical negligence lawyer can be easily located from this website by clicking on the link next to my photograph and asking me a question.
What are the legal costs in making a medical negligence claim?
The legal costs of making a claim for clinical negligence include:
1. Professional fees
This is simply the charge for the time spent by your UK medical negligence solicitor dealing with your claim. It is calculated from your solicitor’s hourly charge rate which you should be notified in writing of at the beginning of your claim.
Sums of money that your clinical negligence lawyer makes no profit on and pays on your behalf. In a clinical negligence claim some of the first steps are to obtain your GP and hospital notes and have a medical expert look at them to decide if there has been negligence. The cost of obtaining the GP notes, hospital notes and a medical report are good examples of disbursements.
What insurance policies might you already have in place to fund your legal costs in making a clinical negligence claim?
Before instructing a medical negligence solicitor I recommend you check if you have a policy of insurance in place which will fund your legal costs in making a medical negligence compensation claim.
This insurance is known as “legal protection cover“.
For example – if you own or rent your home you will typically have some form of contents insurance, which will often have an additional add on insurance known as “legal protection cover” which will pay your legal costs in pursuing a claim following an accident in the UK including medical negligence claims.
You may not be aware you have “legal protection cover” on your contents insurance policy or that all household members can benefit from it so I recommend you contact me or a personal injury solicitor to help interpret your policy for you.
Is legal aid available to make a claim for clinical negligence?
“Yes” – although legal aid is not available for personal injury matters in general it is still available for clinical negligence claims, but only in very limited circumstances.
“Legal aid” is a means of funding your claim from public money.
A medical negligence solicitor must make an application for legal aid on your behalf. Funding you claim by legal aid follows several stages:
1. Legal help
Your solicitor will listen to what you have to say about why you believe you have a claim and look at any evidence you have. If your solicitor is satisfied that there may be a claim he will make an application for legal aid on your behalf.
2. Preliminary investigation
A lawyer alone cannot determine if you have a claim for medical negligence. Your full medical records must be examined and a medical expert contacted to produce a report based upon those notes as to whether it is likely negligence has occurred.
This is an expensive process – medical reports cost several hundred pounds, so legal aid can be granted to take this step.
3. Full investigation
If the medical report produced supports your claim your solicitor can extend the legal aid certificate to cover the expense of further investigation of your claim so that it can be prepared to take your claim to court if need be.
Can a no win no fee agreement be used to make a clinical negligence claim?
“Yes” – a no win no fee agreement can be used to make a claim for clinical negligence.
In this agreement your UK medical negligence solicitor agrees not to charge you for his professional fees if he loses your claim. If your claim is won the majority of your legal costs are claimed from the medical authority as part of your claim (rules may vary, but at the time of writing a potential deduction of up to 25% of your compensation can be deducted for unrecovered legal costs).
You now know the cheapest ways to fund your legal costs, including no win no fee agreements, to make a claim for clinical negligence.
Recommended Next Steps
I recommend you:
Click medical negligence claims Compensation to discover the UK no win no fee clinical negligence claims process.