Choosing a medical negligence solicitor How to choose a solicitor
Speak to a few solicitors who have experience dealing with medical negligence cases before deciding who you wish to use. An initial meeting with a solicitor should be free and leave you with no obligation to use them.
Making a claim can be difficult and emotional for parents and carers, especially in the early stages. Choosing a solicitor with the right experience, understanding and knowledge can make things much easier.
Questions to ask a medical negligence solicitor Is the solicitor a member of the Clinical Negligence Accreditation Scheme?
Members have to maintain a high level of knowledge, skills, experience and practice in clinical negligence. Your solicitor should be a member of:
Does the firm have Lexcel, ISO9001 or equal accreditation? Lexcel is the Law Society's standard for case management, customer care and risk management. Lexcel assesses firms every year. ISO 9001 assesses firms every 6 months to ensure they meet Solicitors Regulation Authority requirements. Will the solicitor you meet deal with your case?
Find out who will be dealing with your case. Make sure they have relevant experience. Your solicitor must have enough time to assess your case and take part in all the important steps.
Does the firm have a good record of successful medical negligence claims?
Choose a practice that has experience in conditions like yours or your child's. How many recent cases have they dealt with? What were the outcome of those cases?
How many medical negligence specialist solicitors does the firm have?
This may show a firm's experience, ability to move a case forward and keep you informed.
How will the solicitor keep in touch with you?
Make sure your solicitor agrees to keep in regular contact so that you are well-informed. Is there another member of the legal team familiar with your claim if your solicitor is absent?
You may wish to know how they will communicate with you, in person, either in the office or at your home, by email or by telephone.
How to get the best out of your relationship with your solicitor and what to expect (Solicitors Regulation Authority). Does the firm have a Legal Aid Agency Clinical Negligence franchise?
Only firms with this franchise can apply for a Legal Aid certificate from the
Legal Aid Agency if available. Does the firm offer education, welfare benefit, community care and public law expertise?
It helps if you can deal with all these issues within one organisation. This will be especially useful when considering the wider social impacts of disability.
Download a Word checklist of questions to ask a negligence solicitor Make sure a solicitor is right for you
A good solicitor will expect you to ask questions.
Make sure you understand their answers. If you do not understand the answers, ask for more explanation. Perhaps take someone with you to take notes. Meet a couple of solicitors if you can. Any firm should provide a free initial interview, without obligation and should be happy to visit you. Remember you have the right to change solicitor at any point if you are unhappy with their service. The Legal Aid Agency may need to approve this if you are receiving their funding. Finding legal help
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