These are some questions that you should ask before entrusting any solicitor with your medical negligence claim. No solicitor should be in the least bit offended if you ask these questions and you should not consider instructing any solicitor who does not give a satisfactory answer to all of them.
Fundamental questions for your medical negligence solicitor:
1. Is at least one member of the firm accredited by the Law Society as a specialist clinical negligence solicitor? This is sometimes referred to as membership of the Law Society’s Clinical Negligence Panel.
2. Is at least one member of the firm a member of the AvMA Specialist Clinical Negligence Solicitors Panel? AvMA (Action Against Medical Accidents) is a leading UK charity for patient safety and justice.
3. Does the firm hold a Legal Aid Agency Quality Mark (sometimes known as a legal aid franchise)?
4. Who will pay the expenses of the claim, for medical experts, barristers and court fees, as the claim progresses and would you be liable to pay them if the claim did not succeed?
5. Will you be required to purchase an insurance policy?
6. It is inevitable that you will have to pay your solicitor some of your compensation, but are they willing to put a cap on the amount of your compensation they will charge?
7. Which individual solicitor will deal with your case?
8. What are his/her legal and/or medical qualifications?
9. For how long has he/she been dealing with clinical negligence cases and how much experience does he/she have? Remember that nothing beats experience.
10. Has he/she ever taken a clinical negligence case to trial? Would you want your case to be the first that he/she has taken to a full court hearing?
11. Does he/she deal exclusively with clinical negligence work or does he/she also deal with other types of cases?
12. How many other clinical negligence cases is he/she dealing with? Less than 30 or more than 55 should be worrying.
13. Will he/she do all of the day-to-day work on your case or will some tasks be delegated to other people? If so, which tasks and why? What are the qualifications and experience of all other people who will be working on your claim?
14. Will your solicitor travel to your home or hospital to visit you if necessary?
15. Will somebody else of at least equivalent experience supervise your solicitor? The demands and complexities of modern legal practice, particularly in such a difficult area of law as clinical negligence, are such that all lawyers, however experienced and senior, must now be subjected to appropriate monitoring and supervision if they are to work consistently to a fully effective and efficient standard.
16. Will there be any risk at all that you might have to pay your opponent’s legal costs if the case does not succeed?
It can be sensible to speak to two or three solicitors first before deciding on the one that best meets your requirements. It is easy and comforting to choose a lawyer who is friendly, supportive and caring. However, lawyers should be selected for their expertise and experience in dealing with clinical negligence cases. You do not choose a lawyer to be your friend. You do not need somebody who is nice.You need somebody who is experienced and effective.
Call us free on 0800 321 3112 for a no cost, no obligation discussion with one of our advisers or complete our online enquiry form.Posted 12th August 2014 | Posted in News,Uncategorised