Funding A Medical Negligence Claim
As with most litigation, Medical Negligence claims can be costly with costs often running into thousands of pounds. A significant amount of the costs are incurred as a result of investigating the claim through research, investigation and in obtaining expert reports. It is not unusual for significant costs to be incurred in the investigative stage even before you get to court.
However, there are various funding options available to fund your claim and you may even have access to more than one funding option depending on your particular circumstances.
The main funding options include:
Legal Expense Insurance (LEI)
Also known as Before The Event (BTE) cover. You may be able to fund your medical negligence claim if you have BTE cover at the time the injury/negligence occurred. BTE cover is a form of LEI and is often attached to your household insurance policy or available as an optional extra. It is worth checking your insurance policy for details of LEI and also if the policy covers medical negligence claims. Not all policies cover medical negligence claims and those that do will often have specific terms of agreement and time limits for claiming on the policy. If you think that you have LEI and need help, please contact us. We are more than happy to review your position to see if we can assist. We can also make enquiries with any Legal Expenses Insurers as required.
Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA)
This is more commonly known as a ‘no win no fee’ agreement. Subject to our risk assessment of your claim, we may be able to enter into a CFA funding agreement with you whereby if you lose your claim, you will not have to pay our legal fees. We may also be able to arrange legal expenses insurance on your behalf to ensure that you will also not have to pay any expenses or disbursements incurred in connection with investigating your claim. This is a common method of funding medical negligence claims. If you would like more information on whether we can offer you a CFA, please contact us to discuss this option.
There is of course the option to fund your claim under an agreement to pay our hourly rate and any disbursements incurred on your behalf in accordance with a retainer with our firm. If you decide to proceed with this option, we will always provide you with an estimate of our costs at the outset as well as the disbursements before they are incurred. We will also provide you with frequent cost updates and an interim bill every month. Although this is an option, it is perhaps the least preferable funding option for this type of claim.
Civil Legal Aid
Recently, the availability of Legal Aid has been restricted to a very limited type of medical negligence claim such as those relating to specific injuries to children at the time of birth. Individuals who may be eligible will need to satisfy certain criteria in order to benefit from public funding. Although we are not presently franchised by the Legal Aid Agency to offer this type of funding, we will still be able to advise you on whether this method of funding is available for your claim. If you have any questions or would like to know if you can apply for public funding, please contact us for advice.
In summary, if we consider that there are sufficient grounds to justify bringing a claim on your behalf, we will always advise you on all the available funding options to assist you in deciding on the most suitable method of funding the claim.