Clinical Negligence - Fees & compensation
How can I pay to make a clinical negligence claim?
You will need to pay fees to make a clinical negligence claim. There are different ways you can pay.
Since April 2012 you cannot get legal aid for clinical negligence unless it is about a child that suffered a serious injury during birth. Legal aid means that the government pays for your legal advice if you can’t afford to pay it yourself.
Legal expenses insurance
You may be able to pay your solicitor fees through legal expenses insurance. Some other insurance policies, such as motor or household, include legal expenses insurance. You should check with your insurance company to see what types of claim it will cover. If you are a member of a trade union you might have legal expenses insurance.
You might have to see a solicitor that your insurer chooses. If you are not happy with them you can ask if you can use your own.
Conditional fee agreements
These are 'no win, no fee' agreements. A conditional fee agreement is an agreement that your solicitor will not get paid unless you win the case.
If you win your case using a ‘no win, no fee’ agreement, you will have to pay your solicitor’s fees with your compensation money. The fee can be up to 25% of your compensation.
If you lose your case then you will not have to pay your solicitor. But you might have to pay the other side’s legal costs. You can take out an insurance policy called after the event insurance. This insurance will pay for the other side’s legal costs if you lose.
If you cannot use any of the above options you will have to pay the fees yourself. Clinical negligence cases can be expensive and solicitors’ fees alone can be thousands of pounds. You should talk about this with a solicitor before you decide to pay the costs yourself.
How much compensation could I get?
If you win you can get compensation. The amount you will get depends on different things, including the following.
- How much pain or suffering you felt.
- How much you earn and how much money you lost because of not being able to work.
- How much you might earn in the future. The court works this out based on what you were earning in the past. Usually the higher your earnings, the more you will get.
- Whether you have children or relatives who depend on you to support them financially.
You should ask a solicitor how much compensation you might get. Knowing how much you might get is important if you are paying for your case yourself.
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