Ending in April 2013, Legal Aid is being stopped by the UK Government in the area of clinical negligence. These types of claims are well known for being difficult and expensive to prove to the courts. Even before the client can file for a claim, they are required to obtain medical reports from specialist doctors.
The most appropriate replacement for Legal Aid will be No Win No Fee, which many lawyers already offer to clients. This approach makes it possible to start a claim without needing to pay legal expenses to get started. In some cases, insurers may pay the cost of the medical expert reports
Although in some situations, a solicitor may be happy to take the case on, sometimes insurers will decide not to back a case until they have a good idea of how likely the case is to be successful. This can leave the client in a position of having to pay for their medical reports themselves.
Unfortunately, some clients are left in the uncomfortable position of not having enough finance to pay for the medical report, and so a claim will not be accessible to them. This leaves them detached from justice.
The one area that will continue to receive Legal Aid support is the area of Child Birth Injuries. Those who have suffered at the hands of medical professionals and doctors to be left with a severe disability will still be eligible to receive help.
This however, will only apply in certain circumstances. For example, only clients who have suffered whilst still in the womb, during the birth itself and/or up to 8 weeks after the 38th week of pregnancy will qualify. Those clients who acquire serious brain injury such as Cerebral Palsy can often be awarded millions of pounds for long term care, loss of earnings and special facilities.
There was an ongoing plan by the Government to take 25% of the compensation from young victims to pay for aid. However, fortunately the Government have now reversed this decision so that all compensation can be retained by severely damaged infants.
Even though this u-turn in policy has occurred, it’s still essential that clients carefully select a highly qualified and knowledgeable specialist Clinical Negligence Lawyer in order to ensure that they are fully protected.
If you or somebody you know has been involved in a Clinical Negligence situation, then it’s essential that you contact a specialist negligence lawyer immediately so that they can discuss how best to claim compensation for your situation.
We cover Manchester and national claims.
Directors - Jonathan Dwek and Andrew Farley
The Directors of Claims Made Simple are all Solicitors of England and Wales.
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