A Guide to No-Win, No-Fee Medical Negligence Compensation Claims

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If you have suffered illness or injury as the result of medical negligence, you may be thinking about claiming compensation. However, you may also be worried about the cost of legal representation and taking your claim to court.

Medical negligence claims tend to be longer and more complex than other personal injury suits. Claims of this nature are also more expensive. As a result, you may be wondering how you’ll afford to make a claim for compensation and what your chances are of winning. That’s where we come in.

As medical negligence experts, we believe every victim of malpractice should receive answers as to why the incident occurred, as well as the financial freedom to recover from the event with dignity. This is why we provide qualified solicitors for no win no fee compensation claims.

What are no-win, no-fee compensation solicitors? 

In a no win no fee medical negligence case, you won’t be expected to pay legal fees to your solicitor unless you win. It means everyone has access to legal representation, even if they can’t afford to pay upfront. It also means that a no win no fee company has to be confident your case can win before they can take it on.

What are the benefits of no-win, no-fee claims?

There are many benefits to the no-win, no-fee approach, also known as the “conditional fee system” set up by the government. The main advantage is that anyone who feels they have been treated unfairly or neglected by a medical professional can start a compensation claim, regardless of their financial background.

Other benefits include:

  • You won’t be left with a huge bill to pay if your case doesn’t win. Medical negligence claims are notoriously difficult to prove. If you’ve suffered illness, injury or a lack of earnings after the event, the last thing you want is to worry about the cost of an unsuccessful claim. That’s why you’ll only pay if you win.
  • You don’t have to pay any money in advance. You can benefit from the best no win no fee negligence specialists without paying for their services up front.
  • All legal advice will be provided free of charge, as will any work undertaken on your case. If you win, you will pay your solicitors an agreed percentage of your compensation.

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. Funding options for claims that take place in the UK include:

  • Public funding: Prior to April 2013 claimants could rely on the Legal Aid scheme to cover their solicitor’s fees. However, this is no longer available, and most solicitors only bill for a no win no fee compensation solicitors service if the case is successful. However, limited funding might be available through the Legal Aid Agency for certain cases (e.g. those involving children or serious birth injuries).
  • Legal expenses insurance: There are such things as no win no fee insurance solicitors who will accept payments through your home, health or even car insurance policies. Check your insurance documents to see if medical negligence claims are covered. If so, there is usually a limit on how much you can claim, and you normally must use a solicitor on the insurance company’s list.
  • Private payment: You don’t have to go down the no win no fee medical claims route. Instead, you can choose to pay your solicitor from your own In this case, you will be liable to pay the entire legal fee even if you lose the case. As such, private payment is not a common method of funding medical negligence claims in the UK.
  • No win no fee agreement: Otherwise known as a “conditional fee agreement” (CFA), this approach means you’ll get your compensation no win no fee. In other words, you’ll only pay legal fees if your claim is successful. No-win, no-fee is the most common option for those who have suffered medical negligence but aren’t covered by their insurance policy.

Conditional fee agreements (CFAs) are simple. You will pay your solicitor nothing if you don’t win your case. If you are successful in court, you will need to provide your solicitor with the following payments:

  1. Legal costs for representation: These vary depending on which firm you use. If you win, the defendant should cover your legal costs.
  2. A success fee: This is a percentage-based fee that comes out of your compensation, but only if you win the case. This amount will be agreed by you and your solicitors at the start of your claim but is no more than 25% of your total compensation.

What is a success fee?

When you enter into a medical claim no win no fee agreement, you must pay an additional amount on top of the legal costs paid by the other side. This is called a success fee, and it is typically a percentage of your compensation or “damages” payment. How much is deducted from your payout depends on:

  • The perceived risks of the case
  • The severity of the damages
  • Whether the case is likely to settle

By law, no-win, no-fee solicitors are allowed to keep no 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?

In April 2013, the Legal Aid, Sentencing & Punishment of Offenders Act changed the funding for medical negligence claims in the UK.

Before this date, the losing party always paid the claimant’s solicitor’s fees. Now, the success fee must be paid by the one claiming compensation. In medical negligence cases, this is usually the injured patient.

Under this new law, those who make claims–no win no fee – are contractually bound to pay the solicitor’s success fee from their own compensation.

No-win, no-fee: funding for everyone

No-win, no-fee agreements were introduced to give everyone the same access to quality legal advice, no matter what their financial situation. This means anyone can fund their litigation without taking financial risks that could further impact their future.

The risks associated with medical negligence claims now lie with the solicitor, who won’t get paid if a claim is unsuccessful. It means you’ll have the best no win no fee medical negligence specialists working on your case, and if they don’t win, you won’t have to pay them.

Are there any downsides to a no-win, no-fee claim?

The no-win, no-fee approach has many obvious benefits for injured patients in a medical negligence suit. The only downside is that solicitors are now more selective about which cases they will take on a conditional fee basis. However, from the claimant’s point of view, this does mean you will get a thorough investigation of the facts and be sure that you have a chance of winning before you begin proceedings.

If your solicitor offers you a no-win, no-fee agreement and takes on your case, you can be sure that your case has at least a 60% chance of success. However, even the best solicitor is unlikely to take on a medical negligence compensation claim with only a slim chance of success.

If your case is perceived to be risky, then you may struggle to find a solicitor to represent you. Bear in mind that medical negligence claims are long and complex, so you should only think about pursuing one if you know you have a high chance of success.

The only other downside to a no win no fee medical negligence claim is that you may have to pay the defendant’s legal costs if you lose the case. However, your solicitor will usually recommend that you take out a special type of insurance policy to cover these potential costs. This is known as “after the event” insurance.

Why might I need “after the event” insurance?

Medical negligence claims are complex, and no two cases are the same. Therefore, your solicitor may decide to consult a barrister or ask a specialist clinician to weigh in on your case. This might involve giving advice and preparing reports to assist you in court. The costs of these services are known as “disbursements.”

Disbursements are not always included in a no win no fee negligence agreement, which means you may need to pay these costs upfront.

Typical disbursements in a medical negligence claim might include:

  • Barrister fees
  • GP record fees
  • Expert fees
  • Court fees
  • Travel costs

Remember: If you win the claim, the defendant will almost always pay these disbursements. If you lose, then these costs will fall on you. In some circumstances, you may be liable for the successful defendant’s costs as well.

These potential costs can be worrying for claimants, which is why most solicitors recommend that you take out “after the event” insurance (ATE). This insurance policy will pay the expenses that were incurred after the date the policy was taken out. It will also cover the defendant’s costs should you lose the case.

What is the cost of ATE insurance?

The cost of your ATE insurance will depend on the amount of cover you are seeking and the strength of your case. However, your solicitor will be used to working with insurance companies. As such, he or she will be able to secure an appropriate, cost-effective insurance policy on your behalf.

In most cases, the insurance premium for ATE is only due at the end of the claim. It means you can pay it from your settlement if you win the case. If you lose, you will usually pay nothing.

Do I have to take out ATE insurance?

There is no legal requirement in the UK to take out ATE insurance to cover your medical claims no win no fee. However, without this cover, you may receive a large bill at the end of your case.

It is not necessary to expose yourself to financial risk when taking out a medical negligence claim. ATE combined with a no-win, no-fee agreement provides total protection. This way, you will pay little to nothing toward your legal costs, even if you lose your case.

Is ATE insurance available to everyone?

No. Insurance companies will evaluate your case to see if it has a chance of success. Like your solicitor, if they think your compensation claim has a slim chance of winning, they may be unwilling to work with you. This may also happen if your compensation amount is deemed too low.

However, if you are accepted for ATE, you can be sure that your case is strong and that you have a good chance of receiving compensation. Therefore, it is worth pursuing your case.

What happens if I can’t get ATE cover?

If you are refused ATE cover, you’ll need to speak to your solicitor to discuss other options. Together, you may be able to find another funding solution, or you might decide it is too risky to continue the case.

For advice and information relating to ATE insurance, please contact one of our best no win no fee medical negligence solicitors. You can contact us with no obligation or arrange a free call back.

I’m thinking of pursuing a no-win, no-fee compensation claim. Will I need to sign anything?

At the start of your no win no fee claims case, your solicitor will ask you to sign a conditional fee agreement. This is a legal document that must be signed if you want to continue with your case. It contains the terms and conditions under which your solicitor must be paid if you win your case.

The conditional fee agreement will clearly set out your financial responsibilities if you win your case. Therefore, it is important that you read and understand the information. Your solicitor will go through the document with you to make sure you’re happy to sign.

Are there any hidden costs or upfront charges?

No. With the Medical Negligence Experts, there are no hidden fees. We are completely transparent about your payment obligations. We also do not expect any payment upfront.

When can I expect to settle my no-win, no-fee claim?

Your case belongs to you, so you will have the final say about when to settle the claim and for how much – even in a no-win, no-fee agreement. Your solicitor may give you advice based on their expertise and experience, but they should never push you to settle early.

Is there a time limit for making a no-win, no-fee medical negligence claim?

Yes. The time limit for making a medical negligence claim is three years. It means that court proceedings must be issued within three years of the incident, or three years of you realising that negligence took place.

There are some exceptions to this rule. For example, when a patient is under the age of 18, there has been severe hardship following negligence, or the patient is disabled or mentally ill. However, most cases have to be acted on within the three-year timeframe to be considered by a judge.

Three years may sound like a long time, but medical negligence compensation claims are lengthy and complex. It’s important to start your claim as soon as possible, so your solicitor has time to prepare and put forward your case.

How we can help

Medical negligence cases can be long, complex and time-consuming. Therefore, you should have the best no win no fee negligence specialists working alongside you to ensure the most favourable outcome. Not only will you not have to pay a penny unless you win, but you’ll also have the best chance of getting the answers, justice and compensation you deserve.

Here at The Medical Negligence Experts, we are experienced in the field of medical negligence and no win no fee arrangements. We will handle your case with respect and dignity, providing advice and support along the way. Our qualified panel of experts will approach your case with care and professionalism, using a no-win, no-fee approach, so your risks are minimal.

We only take on cases we honestly feel we can win on your behalf, and we only ask you for fees if you win. We never ask for payment upfront.

Need more time to consider your compensation claim? Have questions about our legal services? No problem. Simply call us FREE for a no-obligation discussion or arrange a callback at a time to suit you.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

Expert Solicitors

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.

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