A Guide To No Win No Fee Medical Negligence Compensation Claims
If you have suffered injury at a hospital, or consider that a GP, dentist or other healthcare provider has made a mistake, you might be thinking about claiming compensation. Making a medical negligence claim can give you answers about why the incident occurred and the financial freedom to concentrate on recovery.
Medical negligence claims are often longer and more complicated than other personal injury claims such as whiplash, and tend to be more expensive. At the outset, you will need to think about how your case may be funded.
You can find more information on medical no win no fee claims below:
What Are The Funding Options For Medical Negligence Claims?
Funding is the act of paying a solicitor to represent you in your medical negligence claim. Options may include:
Public funding: Legal aid is no longer available to cover clinical negligence solicitors’ fees. Limited public funding may be available through the Legal Aid Agency for certain cases involving children, for example, catastrophic birth injuries.
Legal expenses insurance: Some home insurance and car insurance policies include legal expenses cover which could be used to pay for medical negligence claims. There is usually a limit on the amount of cover and you may have to choose a solicitor on the insurers’ own list.
Private payment: Hiring a solicitor on a private basis means paying for the solicitor’s costs from your own pocket. Whichever solicitor you hire, you can expect to pay a certain amount of costs upfront and make further payments at regular intervals as the case progresses. Even if you lose the case, you are liable to pay the entire medical negligence solicitor’s fee. For this reason, private payment is not a common method of funding medical negligence claims in the UK.
No Win, No Fee agreement: Under a No Win, No Fee agreement, you will not have to pay your solicitor’s fees if you do not win the case and you will not have to pay any costs upfront. No Win No Fee medical negligence compensation agreements allow injured patients who do not have an insurance policy to claim compensation for their injuries at little or no cost to themselves.
Our No Win No Fee medical negligence compensation claims mean that you only pay your solicitor’s legal fees if you win your claim via a percentage of your winnings. If the case is lost, you will not have to pay a penny. All our solicitors work on a No Win No Fee basis.
What Is A No Win, No Fee Agreement?
A No Win No Fee claim agreement is a special type of funding agreement that you enter into with your medical negligence solicitor at the beginning of your claim. It can also be referred to as a “Conditional Fee Agreement” or CFA.
No win, no fee is precisely what it sounds. You literally pay your solicitor nothing if they do not win your case. If you are successful, your solicitor will receive the following payments:
- Their legal costs for representing you which are usually paid by the other side
- A “success fee” which your solicitor will retain from your damages payment at the end of the case – This percentage based fee will be openly discussed by our solicitors from the start.
What Is A Success Fee?
A success fee is an additional payment to the solicitor on top of the costs paid by the losing side. It can be either a percentage of the solicitor’s legal fee or, more typically, a percentage of your damages when the claim is won. How much is deducted depends on whether the case is likely to settle, how big the potential damages are and how risky the case is.
By law, solicitors are not allowed to keep more than 25% of your damages payment as a success fee. In other words, for every £1,000 of compensation, your solicitor will retain £250 and you will go home with £750.
Why Can’t I keep 100% Of My Compensation?
On 1 April 2013, the Legal Aid, Sentencing & Punishment of Offenders Act changed the way in which medical negligence claims UK were funded. Before that date, a solicitor’s success fee could be paid by the losing party. Now, the success fee must be paid by the person who instructs the medical negligence solicitor – the injured patient.
This means that Claimants who make a No Win, No Fee medical negligence compensation claim are contractually bound to pay the solicitor’s success fee out of their own compensation if they get a ruling in their favour.
What Are The Advantages Of No Win, No Fee Medical Negligence Compensation Claims?
No Win, No Fee agreements were introduced to give everyone access to quality legal advice no matter what their financial situation. The primary advantage is that anyone can fund their litigation at minimal financial risk to themselves.
Solicitors who agree to work on a No Win, No Fee basis are taking the entire risk that your claim will be successful. If the lawyer poorly judges your case and you lose, then the solicitor will not earn a penny for the work they have done.
Unsurprisingly, solicitors are selective about which cases they take on a conditional fee basis. Most will only do so after they have thoroughly investigated the facts and are confident that you have a reasonable chance of winning. If your solicitor offers you a No Win, No Fee agreement and take on your case, you can be sure that your case has at least a 60% chance of succeeding.
What Are The Disadvantages Of A No Win, No Fee Medical Negligence Compensation Claim?
A solicitor is unlikely to take on a No Win, No Fee medical negligence compensation claim with only a slim success assurance. If you have a risky case, then you may struggle to find a medical negligence solicitor who will represent you. This is not usually a problem since few Claimants are willing to pursue a claim where they have only small chance of success.
Another possible drawback of a No Win, No Fee agreement is that you may have to pay the Defendant’s legal costs if you lose your claim. These costs can be substantial. However, your solicitor / legal expert in this case would recommend that you take out a special type of insurance policy to cover these potential costs. This is known as “after the event” insurance.
What is an “after the event” insurance policy?
Because medical negligence claims UK are complex, your solicitor may decide to consult a barrister or ask specialist clinicians to give expert advice and prepare reports. The cost of these reports, known as “disbursements,” may not be included in a No Win, No Fee agreement and you may have to pay them upfront.
Some of the typical disbursements in a medical negligence claim include:
- Barrister’s fees
- GP record fees
- Experts’ fees
- Court fees
- Travelling expenses.
If you win the claim, then these disbursements almost always will be repaid by the Defendant. If you lose, then these costs fall to you. In certain circumstances, you may be liable for the successful Defendant’s costs as well.
To protect against a big bill, it is recommended that you take out an insurance policy known as “after-the-event insurance.” ATE will pay the expenses that were incurred after the date that the policy was taken out together with any Defendant’s costs if you lose the case.
Do I Have To Take Out After The Event Insurance?
There is no legal requirement to have ATE insurance cover to pursue a compensation claim. But without cover, you may be exposed to unnecessary financial risk if you lose your claim. ATE combined with a No Win, No Fee agreement gives you total protection. It is the best way to make sure that you have to pay little or nothing towards legal costs and expenses if you lose your claim.
If you are thinking of making a claim, be aware that after-the-event is insurance is not available to everyone. Insurance companies will evaluate your case and will be unwilling to insure you if they think your case is weak, or the likely compensation amount is too low. If you are accepted for ATE, you can be sure that you case is strong and that you have a good chance of receiving compensation.
If you are refused cover, then please speak with your solicitor. Together, you can explore the options and decide whether it is worth continuing with the claim.
How Much Does ATE Insurance Cost?
The cost of the insurance cover will depend on the amount of cover you are seeking and the strength of your claim. Your solicitor is used to working with insurance companies and can secure a policy of insurance on your behalf, if that is the best option for you.
In most cases, the premium is self-insuring. This means that that the premium is only due at the end of the claim. You can pay it from your settlement if you win the case. If you lose, you pay nothing.
Any further questions regarding ATE can be discussed when discussing your claim with one of our medical negligence legal specialists, click here to arrange a free call back.
Are There Any Hidden Costs Associated With a No Win, No Fee Medical Negligence Compensation Claim?
If you wish to fund your claim on a No Win, No Fee basis, then your solicitor will ask you to sign a conditional fee agreement. This legal document contains the terms and conditions under which your solicitor be paid if you win your claim. It is important that you read this document and understand precisely what and how you will be charged.
With The Medical Negligence Experts, there are no hidden fees. We do not make any upfront charges to you and our conditional fee agreement sets out very clearly what costs are to be reclaimed. We will explain everything to you before your claim commences so you always know where you stand.
When Can I Settle My No Win, No Fee Medical Negligence Compensation Claim?
A solicitor can give you advice about the best time to settle your claim but ultimately, your case belongs to you. You have the final say about when to settle the claim and for how much.
The fact that you have a No Win, No Fee funding agreement does not change this position. A good solicitor will never push you to settle early so they can recoup their losses, or encourage you to go to trial in the hopes of securing more compensation. They simply will do their utmost to recover the maximum compensation possible in the circumstances and on the basis of the evidence.
Is There a Time Limit For Making a No Win, No Fee Medical Negligence Compensation Claim?
The time limit for making a medical negligence claim is three years. This means that court proceedings must be issued within three years of the medical mistake.
Sometimes, a patient will only become aware that a mistake has happened after several months or years. In this scenario, the time limit for making a claim is three years from first being aware that you have suffered an injury related to medical negligence.
Three years may sound like a long time, but medical negligence compensation claims are often complex. It is important to start your claim as soon as possible as this will give your solicitor time to prepare the best possible case.
Can We Help You?
Here at The Medical Negligence Experts, all of the medical negligence claims that we handle are funded on a No Win, No Fee basis. We don’t ask for money up front and we only charge if your claim is successful.
We understand that you may have questions before deciding whether to commence a medical negligence compensation claim. For your convenience, we offer you a free, no obligation discussion with one of our expert medical negligence solicitors. Simply call us FREE or click here to arrange a callback.
Need some help?
Am I eligible?
If you have suffered from medical negligence in the past 3 years, the short answer is yes.
However, medical negligence can be complicated, so we recommend that you speak with one of our expert solicitors - It’s Free.
How much could I claim?
As every medical case is different, the amount of compensation paid out can differ. Varying factors lead to the final figure include: Level of negligence, earnings missed out on, future losses and more.
Our experienced team of experts will give you an indication of how much you could potentially claim.
How does the process work?
We understand that when making a claim it’s important to know what to expect and when to expect it. That’s why we make the process as transparent as possible.
Your solicitor will gather all the evidence and will notify the negligent party of your claim against them. With your dedicated solicitor negotiating on your behalf, you will be kept up to date every step of the way.
Why should you choose us?
No Win No Fee
We offer a No Win No Fee* service on all our claims - We assess each claim on its merits with the information provided, which aids us to determine its likely success rate. This takes the risk away from you.
Our experienced solicitors are experts in securing compensation no matter the level of negligence.
We are committed to securing the best possible outcome for you, while providing friendly support every step of the way.
Personal Dedicated Lawyers
On contact, you will be allocated your own expert Medical Negligence solicitor who will be there every step of the way. You will be provided with a direct phone number and direct email address of your solicitor.
Expert No Win No Fee medical negligence claims solicitors working for you
We specialise in helping victims of medical negligence claim the compensation they deserve.
We work on a No Win No Fee basis, meaning if we don’t win your case, you don’t pay! Once you make contact, your experienced solicitor will work to recover the maximum compensation you are entitled to.
Whether you are ready to make a medical negligence claim, or you would just like a free conversation with a legal professional, we have experts on hand to give you all the information you need. Take the first step to getting what you deserve by filling in our quick contact form and we will call you back whenever suits you.