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  • FIRST POST
    • Sunnyside7
    • By Sunnyside7 17th Mar 17, 11:33 AM
    • 5Posts
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    Sunnyside7
    Medical Negligence and Legal Costs
    • #1
    • 17th Mar 17, 11:33 AM
    Medical Negligence and Legal Costs 17th Mar 17 at 11:33 AM
    Hi all; i'm new to this forum and wanted some advice please...

    I've started a medical negligence claim and the solicitors I've decided to go with have given me two options for funding...
    1) a conditional fee agreement (no win no fee) but i will have some costs to pay out of any compensation i'm awarded or
    2) try and pay costs out of my home insurance (i'm not sure whether i can because it's a brand new policy although the solicitors have written to my insurance company to ask them) and i keep all compensation that may be awarded

    My question is...my insurance looks to have £25k for legal costs with zero excess but will this bump my premiums up considerably in the future...i'm guessing so but just wanted to check!
Page 1
    • OnanTheBarbarian
    • By OnanTheBarbarian 17th Mar 17, 2:19 PM
    • 1,364 Posts
    • 830 Thanks
    OnanTheBarbarian
    • #2
    • 17th Mar 17, 2:19 PM
    • #2
    • 17th Mar 17, 2:19 PM
    Claims on legal expenses policy should not impact on your premiums for your home insurance as it is not a home insurance claim.The Legal Expenses policy is a separate policy.

    You will need to be using the legal expenses polocy that was in force at the time the negligence happened though. It is most unlikely the underwriters will accept a claim for legal costs for a right of action that arose before you took out the policy with them.

    The other issue is the legal expenses insurer will almost certainly insist you use their chosen solicitors.
    • Sunnyside7
    • By Sunnyside7 17th Mar 17, 2:46 PM
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    Sunnyside7
    • #3
    • 17th Mar 17, 2:46 PM
    • #3
    • 17th Mar 17, 2:46 PM
    Hi; thanks for your reply...so should I expect to have a separate policy document for the £25k mentioned in my home insurance policy where it refers to "Family Legal Protection"?


    So I'm not with the insurer who was covering me at the time of negligence; I'm reckoning I can't go back to my old insurer and ask them to cover me!!


    I think I may end up having to go the 'no win no fee' route...
    • OnanTheBarbarian
    • By OnanTheBarbarian 17th Mar 17, 7:25 PM
    • 1,364 Posts
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    OnanTheBarbarian
    • #4
    • 17th Mar 17, 7:25 PM
    • #4
    • 17th Mar 17, 7:25 PM
    You can go back to your old insurer.
    • Sunnyside7
    • By Sunnyside7 20th Mar 17, 8:48 AM
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    Sunnyside7
    • #5
    • 20th Mar 17, 8:48 AM
    • #5
    • 20th Mar 17, 8:48 AM
    Really? That's surprising...I wonder why the solicitors never asked for previous insurance details as well...
    Had a full breakdown of CFA and it would seem they take rather a lot out of any compensation awarded!!
    • csgohan4
    • By csgohan4 20th Mar 17, 1:46 PM
    • 3,962 Posts
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    csgohan4
    • #6
    • 20th Mar 17, 1:46 PM
    • #6
    • 20th Mar 17, 1:46 PM
    bare in mind Home insurance legal cover will not cover you if they think the case has a chance of less than 50% of winning.
    "It is prudent when shopping for something important, not to limit yourself to Pound land"
    • Sunnyside7
    • By Sunnyside7 20th Mar 17, 1:48 PM
    • 5 Posts
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    Sunnyside7
    • #7
    • 20th Mar 17, 1:48 PM
    • #7
    • 20th Mar 17, 1:48 PM
    I have an email from my solicitors (detailing costs involved for CFA) and they've stated a 50% chance...its all very confusing though
    • OnanTheBarbarian
    • By OnanTheBarbarian 20th Mar 17, 5:52 PM
    • 1,364 Posts
    • 830 Thanks
    OnanTheBarbarian
    • #8
    • 20th Mar 17, 5:52 PM
    • #8
    • 20th Mar 17, 5:52 PM
    Had a full breakdown of CFA and it would seem they take rather a lot out of any compensation awarded!!
    Originally posted by Sunnyside7
    That's their reward for taking the risk with the case. They only get paid costs if they succeed with your claim and many cases involve the expense of procuring medical records, obtaining expert opinion and sometimes opinion from a barrister before ultimate prospects of success can be determined. There's a £grand + of write offs there easily without taking into account any chargeable time.

    The good cases pay for the ones which can't succeed and clinical negligence is not always easy to meet the burden of proof as far as negligence is concerned.

    The crucial test is what's called the Bolam Test - as outlined here https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bolam_v_Friern_Hospital_Management_Committee

    Some cases are obvious such as "why did you remove the wrong leg" or "why did you leave those forceps in my abdomen and stitch me up" but others take some work.

    The main issue is to make sure you have proper competent representation from someone who has many years of specialising in clinical negligence work. There are many firms who have migrated into this area of personal injury work from doing relatively simple work like RTA claims and it is a whole different ball game. Better sometimes with a proper specialist who will maybe take a bit of the action rather than some factory firm appointed by the insurers who just want a quick win and have button pressers doing the work instead of skilled lawyers.
    • Sunnyside7
    • By Sunnyside7 21st Mar 17, 7:20 AM
    • 5 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    Sunnyside7
    • #9
    • 21st Mar 17, 7:20 AM
    • #9
    • 21st Mar 17, 7:20 AM
    Thanks for your detailed reply


    The solicitors have said they will take the following out of any compensation awarded; their success fee (fair enough), 30% of their legal costs (the other 70% 'should' be recoverable from the defendant), and the cost of the insurance premium they have to take out (in my name) should the case not be successful...it all sounds like it adds up to rather a lot!


    I have all the complaint letters where the defendant 'apologises' for any wrong doing (missed diagnosis in my case) and I have my full records that I also requested...


    You can tell the difference though between (this will probably sound wrong) 'proper' solicitors and those just doing No Win No Fee work...the latter didn't appear bothered or ask any specific questions; they seemed more concerned about 'how much time have you had off work because of this' etc...


    I guess I'll have to wait and see what my insurance company says...if they say no, I'll mention previous insurance to the solicitors and see if we can go down that route
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