When are No win No Fee medical negligence claims the answer?

words Alexa Wang

There was a time when if your doctor, hospital, dentist, midwife, chemist or other medical professional made a mistake with your diagnosis or treatment, you might get an apology but not much else unless you were rich enough to be able to afford legal fees to sue them for compensation. Certainly for most people, medical negligence lawyers were an unaffordable luxury.

Then in the 1940’s came the welfare state and as part of that legal aid was introduced. However, legal aid was means tested so unless you were really poor you did not qualify for assistance, so most people still could not make medical negligence claims UK.


We now had a situation where the very rich or the very poor could make a claim for medical malpractice if their doctor or hospital made them worse because of the diagnosis or treatment, but still too many people could not find the legal fees to use medical negligence solicitors. This meant that there were victims whose lives had been ruined by the medical profession that could do nothing about it, except suffer.

Towards the end of the 1990’s, legal aid was withdrawn for medical negligence claims, and replaced with conditional fee agreements. They work exactly as they say, it is a condition of winning that a fee is paid, so they very quickly became known as no win no fee. No win no fee was already in use for some other legal matters, so it was not a new innovation and was easily accepted.

At last we now have a system in place that does not discriminate because of your financial situation and now everyone can afford to use the best medical negligence solicitors to help them win the compensation they deserve if they have been badly treated, had their diagnosis delayed or had an illness missed because of the incompetence of the medical professional who was supposed to be helping them.

Has Medical Negligence Changed?

There are lots of things that have changed since the 1940’s, not just how we finance medical negligence UK claims. The advancements in technology, particularly in recent years, have changed lots of things and we now live in a digital age. Technology has made the medical profession much more efficient and more able to deal with our illnesses and injuries. You are more likely to survive cancer now, brain damage is more repairable and women are less likely to die in childbirth. There are many infectious diseases that are a thing of the past, such as measles, mumps, and scarlet fever.  You would think all the new innovations mean that medical negligence doesn’t happen anymore.

Unfortunately, that is not the case. The mistake or negligence might be slightly different to how it was when our grandparents were young, but the results are still the same. Victims have their lives ruined by medical negligence now, just as they did back then.

Is Medical Negligence Preventable?

Yes, medical negligence is preventable, it just needs all medical professionals to take proper care and do what they should. Most of them do treat us correctly, which is why we all put our trust in them. They are the first people we go to if we feel unwell, and we do not expect them to make us worse. State hospitals, private hospitals, our GP’s, dentists, opticians, physiotherapists and other medical people deal with millions of patients every year, most of whom are very grateful for the treatment they have received. It only takes a bit of carelessness on the part of any medical professional though, and suddenly someone is suffering far more than they should.

Is Making a Compensation Claim Difficult?

Anyone can make a compensation claim for medical negligence, but it is always recommended that you use experts (a highly recommended team of solicitors are those at The Medical Negligence Experts who work in all areas of medical claims) to pursue your compensation. There are so many pitfalls that can happen and time limits to be adhered to that it is too easy for the layperson to lose their claim on a technicality. Expert medical negligence solicitors will know how to gather the evidence needed to prove that your condition was worsened by the treatment you received. They will support you every step of the way through your claim, so you will never have to deal with any of it alone.

Research shows that making the claim yourself is less likely to be successful, but for those that do succeed the amount of compensation awarded is generally less than a medical negligence solicitor would secure for you. You deserve to get every penny you are entitled to, so if you are the victim of medical negligence and want to make a compensation claim, don’t fall into the trap of thinking you will save money by handling it yourself.



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