Clinical Negligence Solicitor Bolton Manchester
As in all civil cases, evidence is the key to obtaining a successful outcome. Ordinarily one starts with the lay evidence usually through instructions and perhaps letters or documents obtained through any complaints procedure with the hospital or medical institution if this process has been engaged. The second part is to obtain medical evidence. This initially comes from the relevant medical records. At Fieldings Porter our policy is to see and review the relevant medical records about the client or person who received treatment. These will often be all the relevant medical records in order to complete the picture of the care or lack of, which was received. Initially we will take your instructions to be able to draft a form to request the records from the medical institution against whom you believe there has been a breach of their duty of care and/or negligence. This is the first stage of the Clinical Negligence Disputes Protocol.
On receipt of the records we will review them and do not charge for our time spent in reviewing the records. The fee(s) you pay is the fee(s) to obtain the records. Usually that will be a fee up to a maximum of £50 which the institutions will each require before providing us with the records. You must agree to pay that.
We will provide a summary of the records highlighting the important entries within a letter to you and giving advice as to your options. Broadly if we believe you have reasonable prospects of success, you have two options. One is to instruct us to write a letter of claim without a medical report, setting out the breach of duty of care and/or negligence in respect of the treatment which was received and invite the other institution or individual (usually through their insurer) to admit liability. They have four months from date of receipt of the letter within which to either admit liability or deny, giving reasons. This is most commonly the option chosen when you have a strong case and an admission of liability has already been hinted at, perhaps through the complaints process or on our review we believe the prospects of success are good. Before writing the letter we will have completed an internal risk assessment and enter into a Conditional Fee Agreement with you. This is similar to a no win no fee type agreement. Further specific details will be given to you but broadly if, later, you are not successful with your case you do not pay any of our solicitor fees. You may be liable for disbursements or specific fees such as medical expert fees and court fees. If you are successful we will seek recovery of your costs including solicitor fees from the party paying the compensation in addition. However you are liable to pay the success fee on the costs we had incurred in your case but which is capped at 25% of your compensation. Therefore you will never receive less than 75% of the value of your compensation.
The second option is to obtain an independent medical report to ascertain whether a breach of duty of care and/or negligence has, objectively, taken place. This may be required if it is not clear or sufficiently supportive following the review of the relevant records solely to pursue the case at this stage without an independent report. Our charges in instructing an expert are capped at £600 inclusive of VAT. Such a report would also have to be paid for by you, either in one lump sum or by making periodic payments on account. We are able to obtain credit terms in respect of the report fee of up to 2 years. On receipt of the medical report if supportive, we will consider entering into a Conditional Fee Agreement as explained above and thereafter write the letter of claim as part of the next stage of the Clinical Negligence Disputes Protocol.
Here at Fieldings Porter we will do all that we can to assist you in your claim at a time which is very often difficult and we will provide a high quality and empathetic service as you trust us with your case.