If you’ve a possible claim for clinical negligence, sort your legal aid immediately. Or you’ll have to go without…
With new legislation becoming effective from April 1st, clinical negligence specialist Linda Levison urges anyone with a possible case to pursue to take advice about the case – and whether there is legal aid to fund it – before it’s too late…
This week, a new law was passed which will abolish legal aid for almost all clinical negligence cases. Up until March 2013, you can obtain government-funded legal aid to pay for the costs of a clinical negligence claim. But new cases starting after 1st April 2013 – when the law comes into force – will no longer be eligible for this.
There will be few exceptions to the new provision, and those there are will probably provide much less financial help than is available now. So those at most risk will have to fund a claim themselves. But how many people can pay for the investigation of claims which cost as much as £25,000? Where’s the fairness in a legal system for seriously injured adults and children only being available to the rich?
It can take some time for a legal aid application to be processed and a certificate granted. And until that certificate is actually granted, you will not have legal aid to pay for the claim.
So I strongly advise anyone who wants to investigate a possible claim to speak to a specialist solicitor in good time before the changes come into force.