Our legal experts have helped thousands of people claim the compensation they deserve and need to get their lives back on track. Many have similar worries and questions. For your peace of mind please take a look at some frequently asked questions about the claims process.
Don’t forget you can always call us for help and an informal chat about your case, with no obligation and no costs.
Is there a time limit for making a claim?
There is a time limit for claims. For adults the limit is three years from when the incident happened, or from when you became aware that there were complications following treatment or surgery (sometimes problems and pain develop much later).
Time Limit for Children
For children the three-year limit doesn’t start to apply until their 18th birthday. You, or they, if they are unable to, can make a claim as long as they are under 21.
Time Limit for helping others
If you are helping someone who can’t manage their own affairs because of a mental disability, the 3-year period doesn’t apply until (and unless) they recover from their disability.
What is No Win, no Fee?
This type of agreement takes away the financial risk to you when making a claim. You don’t lose out if you go on to win your case and will not pay anything if you lose. If your case is successful our work is funded in part by the losing party, and if your case is unsuccessful, as long as you have not withheld information or misled us, you will not have to pay anything to us. Any other fees, such as court costs and experts’ charges that you may be subject to will be explained to you at the outset.
What do I pay if my claim fails?
If your claim fails on liability or due to a lack of evidence in support of your claim, we will not charge you if we have agreed to represent you on a No win No fee basis. The risk of not getting paid in the event of an unsuccessful claim is one that we will accept willingly when taking on a case under a No win No fee agreement. As long as you have complied with the terms of the agreement which means that you cooperate fully you will not be charged in the event that the claim fails.
What do I pay if my claim is abandoned?
If your case is abandoned – which means it is discontinued without reaching a proper outcome, providing you have cooperated fully, and are truthful in your evidence, a No win No fee agreement will protect you fully in this situation.
Can I make a “No Win, No Fee” claim on any type of claim?
No win No fee agreements are available for most claims for medical negligence and product liability (such as implant cases).
What do I pay if my claim is successful?
If your case is successful, a proportion of your legal fees are paid by the other party or their insurers with a further agreed amount, known as a “success fee” being paid from your compensation award. You will pay up to 25% of your settlement award for past financial losses and pain and suffering (this is often far less than 25% of the total) to cover payment of the success fee. In medical negligence cases there will probably be an insurance premium to be paid as well. The insurance policy is taken out to protect you and your case and it avoids the need for you to pay expenses in the case such as medical report fees upfront.
Do I need Legal Expense Insurance?
Your claim can possibly be pursued using Legal Expense Insurance. You may already have this as part of a benefit attached to another insurance policy, or your bank account. Most Union members will also have this cover in place. It’s worth checking. We can review this with you when we take on your case. Legal Expense Insurance will provide you with cover for some or all of the costs of legal advice relating to your claim. We can advise you on what is and is not covered, but you will also need to check your particular policy documentation. This type of cover can often be used instead of a No Win No Fee agreement.
Are there any hidden fees?
There are no hidden fees. The Patient Protection Solicitors do not make any further charges to you. Our No win No fee agreement sets out very clearly what costs are to be reclaimed and we will explain everything to you before your claim commences.
What happens after I contact you?
We offer a free initial consultation where we will discuss what has happened, and whether you have a legal claim. At the start of your claim, we will discuss the various funding options available. These may include using existing insurance cover you have, a No Win No Fee agreement, or, in some instances, legal aid. Our lawyers will work tirelessly to gather the evidence we need to support your claim and talk you through everything that happens throughout your case. We will often arrange for medical reports to be written and seek expert opinions on your treatment and your injuries. In certain circumstances, we will try to get you an early payment from your compensation so that you can pay your bills (if you can’t work, for example) or to pay for private treatment to help you to recover as quickly as possible. We can also help you access the specialist rehabilitation services through our dedicated team of client liaison managers.
How much can I claim?
Compensation amounts will vary according to the short and longer term effects that the negligent treatment has caused. Your claim could include money to help with: loss of earnings; medical treatment; assistive technologies; care costs; adaptations to your home, or, if this is not possible, the funds required for you to move to a more suitable home.
Can you claim compensation for death due to medical negligence?
Losing a loved one is deeply upsetting, but it can be made worse if you believe that the death was caused by any of the following: misdiagnosis, surgical error, prescription error, or lack of care. No amount of compensation money can make up for the loss of a loved one, but it can help with easing the financial burden on the household if a wage or salary has been lost due to negligence. Let us help you at this difficult time, and guide you through the claims process.
Is it right to make a claim against the NHS?
Ever since it was introduced, the National Health Service has been caring for our health and ensuring that cost is not a barrier to receiving the care we need, when we need it. According to the NHS Patient’s Charter: We have a right to expect that any care and treatment we receive is at the hands of properly qualified and experienced staff with the appropriate skills and training for their job. The treatment must be suitable, carried out lawfully and within clinical guidelines and standards. The treatment should also be provided in a safe and clean environment with high standards of hygiene. We have the right to be treated as an individual and with dignity and respect. If your care or that of a loved one has fallen below the standards expected, then it is in everyone’s best interests to draw attention to the matter, so steps can be put in place to raise standards and prevent it from happening again. The NHS recognises this and has a robust complaints procedure in place. It also advises that if you have been harmed by negligent treatment you have the right to take legal action and make a claim for compensation. This will allow lessons to be learnt, and give you the financial compensation you need to cope with the consequences of the medical mistake.