Funding your medical negligence or injury claim
We know that one of your main worries about pursuing a medical negligence or injury claim will be how you will pay for it. We want to take that worry away so you can be confident of our help whatever your financial situation.
There are a number of options available to fund your compensation claim.
Legal expenses insurance
Many people have legal expenses insurance (LEI) as part of their motor or household insurance without being aware of it. These policies can often help people to bring a compensation claim by assisting you with the expenses of paying for a solicitor. We can help you find out whether you have cover and assist you in filling out the necessary forms.
No win, no fee or conditional fee agreements
We may enter into a conditional fee agreement (CFA) – also called a no win, no fee arrangement – with you which means we only receive payment of our fees if the compensation claim is successful. With a no win, no fee compensation claim, in the event of a ‘win’, we are entitled to recover our costs from the opponent.
The law also provides that lawyers may charge their clients a “success fee” if their case is successful. This success fee is capped at a maximum of 25% of general damages (a sum of compensation in respect of pain, suffering and loss of amenity), and past financial losses.
The percentage amount of the success fee is designed to reflect the risks in the case, and the lawyer’s risk of losing and not being paid. The amount of the success fee will depend on the individual circumstances of each case and is fixed at the outset.
After the event insurance
Usually used in conjunction with a CFA, after the event insurance (ATE) is sometimes available to cover your risk of having to pay your case expenses (eg experts’ fees or court fees) and the other side’s costs in the event that you fail to beat an offer of settlement made by them, or lose the case and are ordered to pay your opponent’s costs (provided that you have not breached the terms of your policy).
We will advise you separately as to whether an ATE policy is, in our view, appropriate. It is usually a term of our CFAs that ATE cover is in place to protect you against adverse costs and disbursements in the event that you lose your case.
The amount of the premium payable for an ATE insurance policy will depend on the strength of a case and the level of cover that is required. Premium rates tend to be better the earlier the policy is entered into.
There are several different types of policy available. Some companies offer policies which defer payment of the premium until the conclusion of the case or which write off the premium if the insured is unsuccessful.
Trade union or other professional body membership
If you are member of a trade union or other professional body, you may be entitled to receive funding for your claim from that body. We can contact them on your behalf and find out whether they are prepared to help.
Legal aid and Legal Aid Agency funding
Qualifying for Legal Aid
In order to qualify for Legal Aid you must satisfy a three stage test. The first is the financial means test. Your income and capital must fall below set thresholds to qualify or you must be in receipt of certain State benefits. The second is a merits test. The Legal Aid Agency must be satisfied that there are sufficient prospects of success to warrant further investigation. The final test is a costs/damages ratio test. The value of the likely damages to be awarded must considerably outweigh the likely cost of pursuing a claim.
Legal Aid for medical negligence claims
Legal Aid in medical negligence cases is restricted to cases involving those who have been injured during pregnancy, labour, or the first eight weeks of life. We have a Legal Aid Agency franchise in medical negligence which allows us to act for clients who are eligible for Legal Aid.
Legal Aid for injury claims
Legal Aid is no longer available to pursue a standard personal injury claim.
There may be exceptional circumstances where Legal Aid can be extended for assistance at Inquests. We will discuss this with you further if this applies to you.
Privately funding your compensation claim
You may wish to pursue a claim privately. We can advise you on the costs involved in undertaking an initial investigation so you can be sure you always know how much you will have to pay.
Contact a medical negligence or injury solicitor
To find out more about funding your medical negligence or injury claim, call us now on 0800 316 8892 or contact us online.