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Pursuing a claim – your questions answered

Funding FAQ’S
How will I fund my claim?

There may be several options open to you to include legal aid, No Win No Fee and legal expense insurance. We can advise you on the correct funding method for you. We have designed a No Win No Fee package to protect you from paying any costs should your claim not be successful.  

 

Do you offer Legal Aid?

Yes we do offer Legal Aid when this is available for clients. Legal Aid is restricted to claims relating to neurological injuries sustained in pregnancy, birth or the early neonatal period. Although we can pursue a claim for you using a Legal Aid certificate, there may be better funding options open to you to ensure your claim is dealt with swiftly and with the best experts. We can discuss this in more detail with you to advise you on the best way forward.

Will I have to pay for any investigation if my claim is unsuccessful?

We know how important it is to be reassured that you will not be financially liable for any unsuccessful investigation.  We have set up a funding package that ensures you will not have to pay any fees should your claim for damages fail.

General FAQ’S
How long will my claim take?

All claims are different and this depends upon when a final prognosis is known and a claim can be valued.

Once we obtain an admission of liability in your case we can request an immediate payment to help with your needs and put support in place.

What will the first steps be?

We will discuss your circumstances at a time and place to suit you – in person, at your home or on the telephone. We can request your medical records at the outset free of charge.  Once we have reviewed your records we can advise you further and appoint suitable experts to provide their opinion on your potential claim.

Will I have to go to court?

Medical negligence claims rarely go to court, with only a small percentage of the more complex cases ending up there. However, in the unlikely event that your case reaches court, we will be by your side throughout the process.

 

When will be damages be paid?

As soon as we possibly can, we will obtain an early payment for you to support any immediate financial needs you have.  This can help you obtain care, therapy, accommodation and rehabilitation. The sooner you investigate a potential claim the sooner an early payment can be made if you are successful.

 

What can I claim for?

The aim of compensation is to put you in the financial position you would have been in had it not been for the injury/negligence in question. We recognise that this is sometimes impossible, but we can work with you and the best experts to ensure all your needs are assessed and costed to help you transform your life for the better, and to give you financial security for the future. 

 

How much is my claim worth?

It is difficult to advise upon the value of your claim at the outset given the complexity of the issues involved.  However, if you have sustained a life changing injury then damages are likely to be substantial.  Once the correct expert evidence is obtained and when a final prognosis is known we can advise you further.  Our role is to maximise the compensation you receive and we specialise in doing so.

Are there any time limits to pursue a claim?

It is important to pursue your claim as quickly as possible due to time limits and to also enable us to help you obtain compensation as soon as possible. This is especially the case in complex cases as the process can be lengthy.

You have to start your claim within 3-years (limitation period) from when the injury occurred or when you first became aware of any potential negligence or injury as a result.  However, the time limit only begins when a child reaches 18 years of age.

For someone who lacks capacity to pursue any litigation, the 3-year time period may never start to run although capacity can return or be intermittent.

You should always seek legal advice upon the relevant limitation period in your circumstances.

 

Will my claim be reported in the press?

We will always respect your right to privacy wherever possible.  Sometimes, clients want details of any settlement to be made public or there may be publicity surrounding the case in certain circumstances.  If this occurs we can support you in managing any contact with the media to ensure you are in control of any publicity that occurs.

 

Making a Complaint
Who can complain?

You can make a complaint about treatment that you have received. You can also make a complaint for your child; for someone who has died, if you are the next of kin; or if they do not have the mental or physical capacity to do so and you are the next of kin.

How do I complain?

We recommend that you make your complaint in writing and provide a brief background to the medical treatment received. You should explain why you are concerned about the treatment and request that your concerns are dealt with in line with the NHS complaints procedure.

Who should you write to?

It depends on where you received the medical treatment:

  • Hospitals – The Chief Executive of the NHS Trust responsible for the hospital;
  • GPs and Health Centre – The Practice Manager;
  • A private health provider will have their own complaints process and you can request details of this.

The process

  • You should receive an acknowledgement to your complaint within 3 working days;
  • There will be an investigation into your concerns;
  • After conducting the investigation, you will receive a response letter addressing your concerns;
  • If you wish, you can request a meeting, or this may be offered to you, to discuss the findings of the investigation;
  • If a meeting takes place, ensure that you take someone with you and that a note of the meeting is clearly recorded by the healthcare provider.  You can request that a copy of the meeting notes are sent to you afterwards.
Is there a time limit?

You have 12 months from the date of the incident to make a complaint.  This can be extended but that is up to the hospital Trust/clinician involved.

How long will it take?

Unfortunately, there are no time limits for how long it can take to deal with your complaint.  However, it would usually take at least 2 months.

What if I'm unhappy with the response?

Our team is happy to talk you through your options following receipt of the response, including advice on whether you have a clinical negligence claim.

You can take your complaint to the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman.  This must be done within 12 months of the incident.  The investigation is usually lengthy and considers whether the complaint has been dealt with satisfactorily by the Trust.

Second Opinion
What if I have already been told I don’t have a case?

We can provide a second opinion free of charge. We have acted for many clients who have been told they don’t have a case, but by looking at the claim in a different way and with our expertise, we have gone on to be successful.

 

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