Most interactions with medical professionals pass without incident, but there are occasions where things don’t go to plan. While getting your regular prescription from the GP or having routine surgery tend to go fine, errors can happen. When errors happen, the healthcare professional who was looking after you may have been medically negligent.
If you think you might have grounds for a medical negligence (also known as a ‘clinical negligence’) claim, it’s worth having a conversation with a trusted negligence solicitor who can give you the expert legal advice you need. At Been Let Down, we have a team of skilled solicitors with many years’ experience of ‘No Win No Fee’ medical negligence claims supporting clients across England and Wales. They’ll work with you to find out what happened and help you make a claim.
But what is a No Win No Fee claim, and how does it work? We’ll go through the process so that you can feel confident when speaking to us about what happened.
One of the main reasons why someone might not want to pursue a claim for compensation after they’ve experienced medical negligence is because of the costs involved with hiring a solicitor. At Been Let Down, we understand that you might be put off making a claim for this reason, which is why we offer a No Win No Fee arrangement for most of our medical negligence cases.
No Win No Fee is sometimes referred to by its official name, which is a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA), but the two terms refer to the same agreement. It’s worth keeping this in mind if our legal team talks about your CFA with you, however we’ll always take care to explain this and every part of the claims process so that you fully understand each stage.
When you agree to pursue your case via a No Win No Fee agreement with us, if your claim for compensation is not successful, we won’t charge you any fee unless your claim is deemed to be fraudulent, or you have failed to comply with our reasonable requests to pursue your claim. Should we win your claim, we’ll take some of our fee from your compensation. This is simply a percentage of the compensation you’re awarded and we’ll agree this with you beforehand, so there are never any nasty surprises.
Also, this fee is only ever paid after the compensation you’re awarded has been paid to you. You’ll never be asked to pay us any fees upfront.
It is important to understand in a very small number of cases, a claimant may be liable for a defendant’s costs if the claim is not successful. If we feel this would be an issue in your case, we would recommend ‘After the Event’ (ATE) insurance. This is just a safety net to give you added peace of mind though, and you’ll never have to pay for anything if your case doesn’t win. We will be able to arrange this for you.
To work out if you have a valid No Win No Fee claim, we’ll need to take some time to establish whether you have a case we are confident we can win. Medical negligence can be complex and an experienced solicitor will take time and care to establish whether actual provable negligence has occurred, or if your situation is more of a reason for a complaint.
However distressing the initial suffering has been, pursuing a case with little chance of legal success would only add to that anguish, so we ensure we’re honest and transparent with you from our first contact. This is why the initial consultation period is so very important, and why contacting us is the best choice as you’ll talk to a lawyer who specialises in No Win No Fee medical negligence claims.
After making an initial no-obligation enquiry through our simple online claim form or by phone, one of our friendly and knowledgeable legal team will contact you to discuss your claim in more detail.
During that first conversation we will listen carefully and sensitively to the details of your case. We know that when you contact us, it’s likely you’ll be going through a very stressful time. We treat each case individually and can even arrange hospital, work or home visits if necessary.
As we listen to the details of your case, we will be trying to establish two key things:
Was your doctor, nurse or medical team at fault to the extent that they did not provide a level of service and care equal to what would be expected of a competent professional in their field?
Did you suffer actual and identifiable harm, injury and/or loss as a direct result of this lack of care?
If your explanation of what happened confirms these two points, you may have grounds for a No Win No Fee medical negligence claim, which is our specialism.
During the initial stages of the claim process, we may also be able to advise you of things such as statutory limitation, which is how much time we have to make a claim after the medical negligence incident took place.
The statutory limitation for a negligence claim is usually three years after the event, although medical cases can be complicated so there can be exceptions to this. The rules are different for children and the limitation period begins from their 18th birthday and expires on their 21st birthday. If you think you’ve missed the limitation period you should still contact us as your claim may still be valid, and we might still be able to help.
Most compensation claims are funded using a No Win No Fee agreement. There are alternative options:
If the claim is for an infant suffering neurological injury during pregnancy, birth or in the eight-week post-natal period, then legal aid may pay legal fees and costs. Legal aid was withdrawn for other types of medical negligence in 2013, however.
There is also a possibility that you already have ‘Before the Event’ (BTE) insurance as part of your home insurance policy or other insurance policies you may have. These insurance policies may cover your opponent’s legal costs if you are not successful with your claim.
Since the withdrawal of legal aid for medical negligence, pursuing a claim on a No Win No Fee basis is a way for you to have peace of mind about the financial implications of your case. However, in a very small number of cases, a claimant may be liable for a defendant’s costs if the claim is unsuccessful. We’ll assess whether this would be an issue in your case, and if it is then we would recommend After the Event (ATE) insurance before you move on with your claim. This insurance offers you cover in the very rare event that you’re found to be liable for the defendant’s costs. It will also cover the cost of any medical reports, in the event that the claim is unsuccessful.
ATE insurance is designed to complement No Win No Fee cases as it’s there to protect our clients’ legal and financial interests and wellbeing. It means that there is no cost to you if your case is not successful unless your claim is deemed to be fraudulent, or you have failed to comply with our reasonable requests to pursue your claim.
We are able to arrange this ATE policy for you, so when you choose Been Let Down, you’ll find that we can provide a service that also protects your finances at this difficult time.
Your solicitor is responsible for ensuring you understand the wording of any No Win No Fee contract you sign when you’re asking them to act on your behalf. They will provide you with a costs breakdown at various stages of the claim. We will also cover the costs of any medical reports until the settlement of your claim.
Therefore, it’s essential that you hire a reputable solicitor. They’ll need to have good knowledge of funding issues. If they do, you can then decide if you want to pursue your claim with their help.
The funding options will be discussed with you over the phone or in person to ensure that you are completely comfortable and that you are aware of any financial risks that come with bringing a claim. As we are authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority, we’ll also provide you with a Client Care letter, which explains clearly the structure and procedure.
If you’re seeking advice from a skilled solicitor that has experience in No Win No Fee medical negligence claims, then please contact Been Let Down. Here’s why you should:
We have many years’ experience and specialist knowledge gained across a wide spectrum of medical negligence claims. Whether you are looking at a case of a misdiagnosis, a mistake during surgery or any other negligent action, we have in-house specialists who will bring expertise to your case.
Some of our solicitors have been recognised by the Law Society, the Legal 500, and Chambers and Partners, and are recommended for their excellence in Medical/Clinical Negligence claims.
We are authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority and solicitors in our legal team are members of the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers so you can be sure of the very best representation.
We have an extremely high success rate. You’ll be supported by a qualified solicitor from day one, with our legal experts able to advise you on whether or not you have good grounds for a No Win No Fee medical negligence claim and whether we think you have a potentially successful claim.
You usually have three years after the incident occurred to pursue a medical negligence claim, so time is definitely of the essence. Call us, request a call-back or use our online claims form to begin the process.
One of our legal team will be able to discuss your case in more detail and set up an initial consultation on a no-obligation basis to explore your claim. Please call us on 0800 234 3234 or contact us and a member of our friendly team will call you back.