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Choosing lawyer for medical negligence claim

(14 Posts)
TooDamnSarky Wed 01-Nov-17 17:44:19

I’ve approached 2 firms in my nearest city about a medical negligence claim. Both seem agree that I have a case and I’m sitting down with them next week To discuss possible next steps.
Any advice on what I need to find out and how I make a decision abut which (if either) firm to use? I have no experience with legal issues and am feeling a bit overwhelmed tbh.

babybarrister Wed 01-Nov-17 19:30:09

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

McTufty Wed 01-Nov-17 19:37:02

Also find out the success fee they will charge (usually 25%) and their policy on paying for disbursements eg expert medical reports. You will need these and they aren’t cheap. Some firms will pay up front and recover the cost from the defendant but not all. Check the policy on any costs to you if your claim is unsuccessful (hopefully it won’t be but no guarantee). They won’t charge you their legal fees but possibly court fees, disbursements etc

Cheeseandcucumber Wed 01-Nov-17 19:43:43

Check avma and the legal500 for your area.

My no longer here dear dad had an unbelievable nightmare with his claim just before he passed. It was a firm in Scunthorpe, two solicitors there. They were horrendous. They delayed things, took money upfront which then went missing, he had to chase them to get any information, they missed court ordered deadlines which were arranged by the other side cos they hadn't responded to their queries for 8 months. It then turned out they were actually acting for the defendant in his personal injury claim too (it was a car accident claim and then a claim against the hospital). The barrister spotted it during a conference call so dad walked away from it all then passed away before he could sort anything else.

Things to look out for from my experience are:
Being promised the world in the first meeting,
Taking money up front,
Not getting the initial documents through in good time,
Being told 'gathering evidence', your records, will take months,
Forcing other symptoms on to you to boost the claim.

Good luck. If the firm has a Facebook page maybe check that for reviews? Hope it all goes well and if it's looking like you've not made the right decision you can cancel your agreement, it should be included in the initial documents.

VivaLeBeaver Wed 01-Nov-17 19:49:14

If you're anywhere near Leigh Day I can highly recommend them. They took on a case for me which ended up at the High Court in London and won. Very, very, thorough. The hospital involved fought it all the way and chucked a lot of money at barristers. They lost.

babybarrister Wed 01-Nov-17 21:20:07

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

TreaterAnita Wed 01-Nov-17 21:41:28

Would agree you need to check for AvMA membership and Legal 500 ranking. Individual solicitor doesn’t need to be panel member/ranked, but it’s a sign of a good quality firm. There are good specialist firms in most cities. Ask about total cap on deductions, should be no more than 25% (including success fee and insurance premium). If you have a good case which is likely to attract significant damages and let firms know you are ‘beauty parading’ then you may well be able to negotiate this right down. Also take your home insurance policy with you so they can check if you have legal expenses insurance (no success fee, but you may be restricted on choice of firm). Ditto if you are a trade union member.

TooDamnSarky Wed 01-Nov-17 21:53:17

Thanks all. You’re all very kind to take time to help me.
Sadly I have no insurance/union cover.

London firms are a possibility, but so far I’ve been looking in Cambridge. Does anyone have any knowledge of firms there?

babybarrister Wed 01-Nov-17 22:02:29

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

TooDamnSarky Wed 01-Nov-17 22:09:57

Thank you

TreaterAnita Wed 01-Nov-17 22:10:59

There are good firms in Cambridge. Legal 500 has Ashtons, Irwin Mitchell and Tees in tier 1 and Slater & Gordon in tier 2.

TooDamnSarky Wed 01-Nov-17 22:17:01

Thanks. Both the ones I’d contacted are in your tier 1 list.

babybarrister Wed 01-Nov-17 22:18:11

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

TooDamnSarky Wed 01-Nov-17 22:23:50

smile

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