If you’re confronted with a case of medical negligence, time is of the essence in filing your claim. Your odds of winning your case depend on finding the right legal expert. Your chances of getting the full amount you’re entitled to are dependent on finding the right solicitor. Here are a few tips on how to choose the right solicitor for your medical negligence case.
A family law expert can guide you through a divorce or child custody dispute, but they don’t know how to handle a personal injury case. A personal injury lawyer may handle everything from car wrecks to dog bite cases. A medical malpractice claim could be handled by a personal injury lawyer. However, the greatest odds of success lie with those who have the medical experts on hand for a second opinion to prove the severity of your injuries and demonstrate that the defendant is responsible for the claimant’s pain and suffering. This is why you need to contact medical negligence claims UK experts instead of trying to save money by relying on a friend or general legal practitioner for your case.
Experience in medical negligence matters when you’re looking for a solicitor. The fact that they are focusing on the area right out of law school means they really don’t have the expertise you’re looking for; their knowledge is theoretical while the people they go to for medical expertise may not be the best in the business. If they have no track record, you have no basis by which to judge their ability to win your case.
One possible aspect to consider is the new lawyer in a law firm that specializes in medical negligence cases. The fact that the lawyer assigned to your case has little experience is less important since they can rely on experts who do regularly win cases.
One factor many people overlook is how often the solicitor wins their cases. It doesn’t matter that someone handles hundreds of cases a year if they rarely win, whether it is a no-fee-no-win payment model or not. The lawyers who almost always win their cases are the better choice, especially if this is combined with a good payout rate. However, you want to do your research since a lawyer who settles with defendants to get something, anything, for their clients and secure payment for themselves isn’t what you need. The best medical negligence solicitors can demonstrate a record of winning the full amount their clients are entitled to while winning most of the time, which is why many work on a no win no fee basis.
Why should you ask about success rates when talking to an experienced lawyer? You certainly don’t want someone who says they have five years of experience in personal injury claims but has never won a medical negligence case.
Don’t just rely on glowing testimonials on their website as the basis for making a decision. Do they have a reputation for being considerate with those in pain and suffering from a debilitating condition? Do they respond to calls from clients in a timely manner? Does the solicitor take time to do research in the area they say they are an expert in and then bill you for it? Do they take an excessive percentage of the client’s settlement under the “no win, no fee” model?
For the record, no, not all medical negligence lawyers take the same slice of your settlement. If they manage trust funds on behalf of the disabled or injured, do they maintain records well and pay bills promptly? You don’t want to work with a solicitor who arranges a large medical settlement but leaves you in debt because they take took too long paying critical bills.
You should also see a lawyer in person and see how they conduct business and how they treat you as a client. You want a lawyer that is attentive and empathetic to your issue. You don’t want a despondent lawyer that treats you like another number. These are often the ones that will try to expedite the process if they feel your case isn’t “worth it”. A good lawyer treats all clients equally, and you don’t want to get cheated out of a better settlement because your medical malpractice lawyer didn’t feel like your case was worth the time. You want someone who will fight each step of the way and get the maximum settlement for you, no matter how big or little the case is.
Medical negligence cases could take weeks, months, or years. One factor to consider when searching for a solicitor is when they can start working for you. Someone who is backlogged may not file the claim in time for you to be reimbursed. In a worst-case scenario, their sheer volume of work delays your case by months while your bills are piling up. So, ask the solicitor when they can start on your case and the likely time frame for its completion.
Another factor to consider is the efficiency of the lawyer and how much work they shift onto the client. If the lawyer is sending you to get medical records, third medical opinions, and even do research tasks for them, they may not be able to complete the case in the time frame the law allows if you’re unable to help. However, you can speed up the process for any lawyer by gathering your medical records in advance of meeting with the lawyer and having documentation for all associated costs. Your medical negligence claim will go much faster if you already have a log of all of the time you’ve spent caring for the relative, the cost of in-home caregivers, and renovations you’ve made to the house to accommodate them.
One factor to take into account when seeking legal services for a medical negligence claim is the fee structure. Very few cases today receive legal aid. You can find medical negligence solicitors who will accept private payment up front for their services and more will charge by the hour. An increasingly common payment model is the “no win no fee” structure. This is also called the conditional fee arrangement. If they don’t win your case, you don’t have to pay. This model is very attractive to those who are already going into debt due to lost wages and mounting medical bills. It also makes expert legal advice accessible to those with large upcoming settlements who could not otherwise afford legal services.
The no win, no fee model does result in some solicitors refusing to take cases they aren’t sure they will win. For some of these cases, you could still find solicitors if you’re willing to pay for their services.
You want to work with lawyers who have expertise in medical negligence cases. They need to have experience with this particular area, not just personal injury law. And they need to have a history of winning medical negligence cases. Research the reputation of the solicitor since their back office or unscrupulous practices may be something you don’t want to deal with. You want to work with someone who will start on your case as soon as possible and won’t drag it out unnecessarily.