Reviewed by
Peter Rigby, Director of Medical Neglience

10 things to know about No Win No Fee

  • No win, no fee
  • Not just lawyers - real specialists
  • No obligation
  • UK's highest-rated medical negligence solicitors

If you’re considering pursuing a No Win No Fee case for a medical negligence claim, chances are you have some questions. It can be a daunting prospect – after all, the law is complex and the details of your injury may be complicated too. We’re here to make things clear and simple for you. This guide will take you through the ten facts you should be aware of before you begin a No Win No Fee Claim. 

At Patient Claim Line, we only operate on a No Win No Fee basis. This is because we think a person’s financial situation should not be a barrier to them receiving the financial compensation they deserve. Our top-rated, specialist legal team have over 400 years combined experience getting justice for medical mistreatment and neglect. If this guide doesn’t quite answer all your queries, you can speak to our solicitors on 0330 107 0052 for free advice.

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1. A No Win No Fee Case is a legal arrangement where you don’t have to pay!

No Win No Fee does what it says on the tin – if you don’t win your case, you pay nothing. It’s as simple as that! At Patient Claim Line, there aren’t even any fees to have your claim assessed. We promise to never ask for any money upfront.

If your claim is successful, your solicitor’s legal fees are paid out of your compensation. This amount is decided in the Conditional Fee Agreement, before you begin the process.

 

2. You are entitled to make a claim

Ignore the myths in the media criticising a ‘compensation culture’, if inadequate medical treatment has resulted in you suffering physically or mentally, you deserve justice! Unfortunately medical accidents and negligence do occur. If you or a loved one has endured unnecessary pain or is facing ongoing implications, you have the right to compensation.

 

3. It’s not only the NHS that you can claim against

Whilst it is often NHS medical negligence claims that make the press, you can make a case against any medical professional or business that has resulted in you suffering from medical negligence.

This includes:

  • Private hospitals and doctors
  • Private dentists
  • Opticians
  • Cosmetic clinics
  • Care homes

There is a deadline you should be aware of. With medical negligence claims, a three-year limit applies. The patient is able to raise a claim as long as it has been within three years since they first became aware of the negligent action. However, there are some exceptions to this time-limit. For example, a minor has three years from the point at which they turn 18.

 

4. You’ll need to show some evidence

Having a feeling that a medical professional has been negligent will not be enough to ground a case, you’ll be required to prove that it happened. Records like medical notes and photographs of injuries will be needed. You should therefore try to keep accounts of what has happened. Family members or anyone who has witnessed the treatment may also be required to submit a statement.

This is where a medical negligence  solicitor can be invaluable. Legal experts can explain what evidence you will need and advise you on how and where to find your proof. They’ll be with you through every step of the process to help you evidence the negligence, and obtain justice.

 

5. You won’t have to attend a court hearing

Don’t be put off by visions of taking the stand in a courtroom to argue your case. The truth is that medical negligence claims are very rarely seen in court. The majority of the time, a claim is raised and a defence then issued with a settlement offer – all outside of the courtroom. In the unlikely event that your claim needs to be assessed in court, you’ll need a lawyer to l represent you.

 

6. The whole process will likely take between 12 and 18 months

People commonly ask how long a medical negligence claim process will take from start to finish. It really just comes down to the specifics of the case, but most claims are settled between 3 and 18 months. The average length of time is between 12 and 18 months, but the timescale can be influenced by a variety of factors including:

  • The type of injury or illness
  • How strong the evidence for the claim is
  • The defendant’s position and how much they refute the claim

 

7. Everything is set out in a Conditional Fee Agreement

This term is the name for the contract signed between you and your solicitor when starting a compensation claim. It establishes how and when the solicitor’s fees will be paid, if your case is successful. It’s there for your peace of mind – everything is set out clearly in a written agreement so you don’t face any unexpected legal fees. It will also confirm in writing that if you lose your claim, you’ll not be required to pay anything.

 

8. You’ll take out an ATE insurance policy for free 

As well as the solicitor’s fees, there can be other costs that need to be accounted for (e.g. the cost to acquire doctor’s reports). For this reason, medical negligence claimants are advised to take out After The Event insurance. Whilst many other companies charge up to £1000 for ATE insurance, here at Patient Claim Line we offer it for free.

This is because we strongly believe a person’s financial situation should not stop them receiving compensation for their suffering. Choose to make your claim at Patient Claim Line for protection and peace of mind at no extra cost.

 

9. Not all NWNF agreements are equal

If you win your case, you will receive General Damages and Special Damages and your solicitor will deduct a percentage. There is no set amount as it is dependent on the specifics of each claim. The percentage will be agreed upon at the start and clearly outlined in the CFA.

The law states that the maximum deduction from your payout should be 25%. It’s worth knowing that some medical negligence firms employ measures to try and circumvent this law, such as adding VAT on top of the 25%. We’d recommend choosing a reputable and transparent firm for your case. The last thing you need after receiving poor quality care is unfair handling of your compensation.

10. There are alternatives to No Win No Fee

You may be wondering if a No Win No Fee claim is your only option if you’ve faced medical negligence. This is not the case and when you reach out to us we will make an assessment and recommend the best plan of action.

Alternatives include:

-Trade Union Funds – some provide their members with the expenses to cover compensation claims. The Trades Union Congress has useful information about claiming on its website. 

-It is possible to use Legal Aid to fund some claims. For example a child who has suffered brain damage during childbirth due to medical negligence

-Some people choose to privately fund their claim

However, a No Win, No Fee agreement is usually the best option for most people as it makes a claim viable, no matter your financial situation.

 

No Win No Fee at Patient Claim Line

The experienced lawyers at Patient Claim Line have helped thousands of people fight for answers and compensation after medical negligence. We are the UK’s highest rated medical negligence specialists for a reason – we truly care about each and every case and work to get you the best outcome possible on a No Win No Fee basis.  If you feel that you have been affected by medical negligence, for a no obligation, no cost chat with our expert solicitors give us a ring on 0330 107 5324

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Meet our medical negligence team

Peter Rigby

Peter Rigby
Director of Medical Negligence

Christian Beadell

Christian Beadell
Partner, Head of Strategy and Legal Operations

Francesca Paul

Francesca Paul
Associate Solicitor

Sion Wynne

Sion Wynne
Senior Solicitor


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