When negligent medical care in pregnancy and labour leads to a child having brain injury such as cerebral palsy (CP), the impact on their family can be enormous, with additional responsibilities for care and assistance meaning that many parents are unable to work.
At Shoosmiths, we have a very experienced medical negligence team which has represented many children with CP and their families. We focus on investigating liability (fault) on the part of the defendant health organisation or individual, and on ensuring that the child and family receive the support they need, including treatment, rehabilitation and care; often our role involves ensuring that the family’s living arrangements are appropriate to their needs.
Sharon Banga, principal associate comments:
‘We appreciate that many of our clients may never have pursued a legal claim before and could be concerned about how they will be able to fund the litigation. Our aim is to ensure that our clients are offered the best funding arrangement for their circumstances. Arranging the funding of the claim is part of the service we offer.’
What are the funding options?
- Legal Aid – Shoosmiths is one of the few law firms in the UK who can fund cerebral palsy compensation claims by Legal Aid. This is a government funding scheme that helps people pay legal fees in cases involving serious neurological injuries that occur either in pregnancy and labour, or within eight weeks of a child’s birth. We take pride in being able to offer our clients the option of Legal Aid funding thanks to a long-standing Legal Aid Agency clinical negligence franchise. Only firms with this franchise can apply for a Legal Aid certificate from the Legal Aid Agency. To qualify for Legal Aid funding, we must assess whether your case meets the eligibility criteria; if it does, we can make an application on your behalf.
- ‘No win no fee’ – If Legal Aid funding is not an option, we can offer a ‘no win no fee’ agreement. This means that you are only liable for legal fees if the claim for compensation is successful. In these cases, the defendant pays most of the legal costs; your contribution to is taken out of any compensation awarded to you, and then only at the end of the process. If your claim is unsuccessful, you would pay nothing.
Most of our personal injury and medical negligence claims are funded by a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA) commonly called a No Win No Fee agreement. Alongside the CFA it is advisable to take out a special insurance policy called ‘After the Event’ (ATE) insurance. If your claim is unsuccessful, this insurance would provide an indemnity for any legal expenses that you have incurred and for any of your opponent’s legal costs you are required to pay. The cost of this insurance is deferred until the end of the claim, no premium has to be paid up-front.
We will explain all your funding options and recommend the most suitable route during your initial (free) consultation.
This information is for educational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. It is recommended that specific professional advice is sought before acting on any of the information given. © Shoosmiths LLP 2024