Investigation of Claim
In most cases, if we agree to look into your case, we will be prepared to agree to complete the initial investigation phase of your medical negligence claim on the basis that if we do not obtain a supportive independent medical specialist’s opinion, we will either agree not to charge you for the work we do to such point or that such fee will be a fixed modest sum. If you would like us to give priority to investigation of your claim, this can be arranged, on the basis of a modest fixed fee for such work.
You will almost always need to meet the costs of the independent medical specialist’s opinion, advising us whether your poor outcome results from a lack of appropriate care or skill on the part of the doctor or other health professional concerned.
We will let you know how much such cost will be, before we go ahead and obtain such opinion. Clients are often content to meet such cost, even where the opinion is not critical of the care that has been provided, given the peace of mind such independent opinion explaining how their problems occurred, provides.
Pursuit of Claim
If we obtain a supportive impartial medical specialist opinion and advise you that we believe a claim can be made, we will then enter an agreement with you as to our fees for pursuing your claim. We will generally agree to charge you for our services, when your claim finishes.
These days, seeking to be innovative, we will generally seek to agree a fixed fee with you at this point for advancing your claim to the stage at which it will become clear whether it can be settled via negotiation (as in most cases) or must proceed to trial (as occurs, but only rarely).
If, as happens in most cases where we obtain an opinion from an independent medical specialist critical of your care, your claim is settled by negotiation at pre-trial conference or otherwise, the doctor or other health professional’s insurer will usually, as part of the settlement, contribute towards your legal costs. We generally find such contribution is about 50% of our legal costs. The balance is deducted from your settlement when the claim is finalised.
Claims Proceeding to Trial
If your claim is one of the small minority in which a trial is required, either because no offer at all is made concerning your claim (and you wish to pursue the matter to hearing) or any offer is unacceptable to you, we will again seek to agree a fixed fee for conducting the trial for you.
The amount of such fixed fee, will depend upon the complexity of the case, the reasons it is proceeding to trial and the other circumstances.
We assure you that if we believe your claim is strong and that the doctor, hospital or other health professional responsible, is not being fair, we will do all we can (within reason) to see that you have an opportunity, if this is what you want, to take your case to trial.
we promise that if we have encouraged you and advised we believe your claim has merit, we will be prepared to ‘put our money,’ our legal fees, where our ‘mouth’ is…