CHANGES TO LEGAL AID – Since April 1, 2013, only children whose brain injuries were caused during the pregnancy itself, or who were injured during their birth, or who have developed serious brain injuries which led to serious disabilities within 8 weeks of their birth qualify for legal aid to make a medical negligence compensation claim
In certain circumstances, you may qualify for legal aid to help fund your medical negligence claim [for the purposes of legal aid, medical negligence is referred to as “clinical negligence” – don’t worry, it’s exactly the same thing].
Legal aid is only available through a small number of solicitors firms that that have been awarded a “clinical negligence franchise” by the government’s Community Legal Service. It is also, generally [but see below], only available for people on low or no incomes.
Why choose for your Legal Aid Clinical Negligence Claim?
There are approximately 11,000 law firms in England and Wales – but of those only around 120 Solicitors firms holding a clinical negligence legal aid franchise. We are one of them. So if you are on benefits, or in receipt of a low income or benefits, we are one of very few law firms approved to bring your clinical negligence claim.
Not sure if you are eligible for legal aid?
Just call our team – one of our lawyers can quickly let you know if you qualify for legal aid – and if not what are the alternative ways of funding your claim.
Legal aid clinical negligence conditions
As well as people on low incomes, legal aid can also be accessed by people with mental health issues and children who have no income of their own. Unless you are a child with no income, if you qualify for legal aid you may still have to make some contributions to your costs.
You will normally only be able to access legal aid if it is thought there is a reasonable chance of your claim being successful – usually at least a 60% chance of a successful claim.
If you are applying for legal aid, the Legal Services Commission requires your solicitor to provide an assessment of the claim and its chances of success. Initially, you will be awarded legal aid for “Investigative Help” when the facts of your medical negligence claim are being established. If that stage is successful, the legal aid should be extended to Full Representation which should cover all of your legal costs up to, and if necessary including, a contested final hearing.
What legal aid for clinical negligence doesn’t cover
You cannot get legal aid if you are seeking representation at a coroner’s inquest or making an NHS complaint. Talk to our solicitors, who specialise in inquest hearings, about alternative methods of funding.
The alternative to legal aid for clinical negligence
In extreme limitation on eligibility for legal aid, most people simply aren’t able to use legal aid to make a good medical negligence claim. But by instructing us, there is no reason to worry about legal costs. We may be able to run your case under a no win no fee agreement. Click here to read more about no win no fee
Thinking of a Legal Aid Clinical Negligence Claim?
Call our Specialist Clinical Negligence Solicitors today
- Call us on FREEPHONE 0800 1404544
- Or use the contact form below
Comments or questions are welcome.