Would It Cost To Make a Claim?
In the last decade or so there has been the introduction of conditional fee agreements (CFA’s) otherwise known as “no win no fee”. This is where the solicitor that takes on the case will not charge you a fee for their services unless they successfully win the case. Upon winning the case, the solicitor will be entitled to their standard fee plus an uplift which is also referred to as a success fee. In English law, the uplift fee can’t be higher than 100% of the lawyer’s standard fees and if reasonable it will be paid by the defence and not from any damages awarded to the successful claimant.
Due to the high risk to the firm of solicitors in offering a no win no fee arrangement it is usually the case that no win no fee will only be offered for medical negligence claims if there is an 80% or greater chance of claim success. Usually a solicitor won’t even consider taking the claim without prior assessment of the medical records of the potential claimant.
If your no win no fee claim fails, you won’t need to pay your solicitor his fees as they are the party that has taken on the risk but if during the case there was a need for experts or counsel’s fees you would be liable for these. In addition you would be liable for defence costs. Therefore, it is essential that you consider the option of legal insurance. You may have legal insurance already as part of householders insurance premium – you or your solicitor should check this beforehand.
In some cases if you are part of a trade union you may be able to receive special terms for making a claim or alternatively there is always the option to check to see if you would qualify for legal aid.
Failing any type of special funding applicable to help you with your case, the other remaining option would be to self fund. If your legal representation assess your chance of claim success at less than 60% it is likely that they will recommend that you abort your claim.
Medical negligence cases can be expensive and in some cases can continue for years, so it is imperative that you contact a solicitor and run through all the possible options with them first.
If you are considering making a claim for compensation due to an injury or illness that was caused by medical negligence you may wish to view the following sections.