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Funding Your Claim
Justice should be accessible to everybody, regardless of wealth. If you have suffered because of medical negligence but are concerned you may not have the financial means to make a claim, funding can help to bridge the gap and allow you to access the compensation to which you are entitled.
There are five ways in which to fund your legal case:
- No win, no fee
- Legal aid
- Private funding
- Legal expenses insurance
- Trade union funding
No Win, No Fee
In the late 1990s the government decided that legal aid was too costly, and replaced this for many claims with conditional fee agreements, otherwise known as "no win, no fee". Put simply, solicitors acting on no win, no fee cases will only be paid if they win the case for their client.
Hospital Negligence’s specialist solicitors offer the no win, no fee scheme, and this means there is no financial risk to clients. You will not have to contribute towards the cost of your case if it is unsuccessful - which means you will not be asked to pay the defendant's fees, nor your own legal fees - provided you have entered into an agreement with our recommended insurer. At Hospital Negligence, we can help to arrange this insurance with our recommended provider.
If your claim is successful, the defendant will still pay the bulk of your legal costs and if you make your claim with us, the fee taken from your compensation to cover the remainder will be capped.
No win, no fee therefore means that if you have been left with injuries due to a surgical error, maternity care mistakes, poor treatment by your GP or anything else, our fees are only paid if we win the case and compensation has been awarded. In most cases we will be able to claim most of our fees from the opposing party.
Legal aid has been widely phased out but it is still available in certain medical negligence cases. These cases usually involve children who have suffered neurological injuries due to medical negligence during pregnancy, childbirth, or in the eight weeks following birth.
To qualify for legal aid, claimants must fulfil certain financial criteria. If a claimant does not fulfil the required criteria, it is likely that they will be offered a no win, no fee agreement as an alternative.
The Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act
On April 1st 2013, the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders (LASPO) act came into effect. This new legislation effectively removed legal aid provision for victims of medical negligence, with the exception of a few specific case-types.
You may therefore still qualify for medical negligence legal aid if your claim concerns a neurological injury (including brain injuries) to a child that has resulted in a severe disability, providing the negligence in question occurred during pregnancy, childbirth or in the first few weeks of life. If your potential claim fits this description, we recommend that you contact a member of our team as soon as possible to discuss eligibility for legal aid. During a no obligation initial discussion, our team of experienced solicitors will be happy to provide advice and guidance on legal aid and the strength of your case, providing you with all the facts necessary to make a decision.
Private funding is a fairly rare option as most clients do not want to risk unnecessary dents in their own pocket, preferring instead to take advantage of less financially hazardous options. If you fund your own claim, you win the case and it is valued at more than £1,000, then the opposing side is legally obliged to pay both your costs and compensation.
If you are unsuccessful, however, you will not be reimbursed for your legal costs, although you no longer have to pay the legal costs of the defendant except in very limited circumstances.
Legal Expenses Insurance
Some people either have specific legal expenses insurance, or they have this kind of insurance as an add-on to other insurance policies. In some cases this kind of cover can be used to fund legal action. We will advise you on the suitability of any legal expenses policy you might have.
Talk to Us
To find out more about our legal services and to discuss your funding options, call us today on 0800 014 7481, or fill out our enquiry form and we will get back to you at a convenient time to talk about your situations and the various ways in which we may be able to help.
You can also read more about making a claim with us in our frequently asked questions.