Medical Negligence Solicitors – How to Choose Yours

If you have incurred an injury because of negligent treatment from a professional medical body then you may be able to bring a legal claim of medical negligence. In order to do so, you should seek advice as soon as possible from an experienced medical negligence solicitor. Medical negligence solicitors are often very specialised as the claims are so detailed and complex.

In choosing a medical negligence solicitor you should always check their accreditations. Firstly, the Law Society dictates its own approval for those solicitors whom are particularly practised in medical negligence cases; this is called the ‘Clinical Negligence Accreditation Scheme’. Secondly, the independent charity AvMA (Action against Medical Accidents) has its own recognised scheme of approval for solicitors capable with dealing with medical negligence claims. If a solicitor is AvMA approved then they will have the AvMA logo on their website or letterhead. Do not be anxious to request details from the solicitor of their accreditation, this is particularly relevant if you cannot see the logo.

If you choose a medical negligence solicitor who is authorised by both of these bodies, then you know that you are using a ‘Medical Negligence Specialist’. Medical Negligence Specialists are widely observed by organisations such as the NHSLA (NHS Litigation Authority) and the Legal Services Commission. In order to become a specialist the AvMA will assess a solicitor’s knowledge, experience and general work ethic before they issue the accreditation. Not only this, but the AvMA do not merely issue the award to the specialist. The solicitor must be re-accredited and thus re-assessed by the charity every five years. Whilst the firm is accredited it has to obey a certain code of conduct, it must also prove its commitment to excellent customer service and client empathy. Both panels have a limited number of members and both set very high standards both full joining and reaccreditation. Remember that many thousands of solicitors deal with accident compensation claims – but very few are medical negligence specialists.

Other elements, which may effect your decision on choosing a medical negligence solicitor may include the nature of your case and the option of using legal aid resources.

A solicitor can inform you of what type of caseload they manage and what areas of medical negligence their experiences lie within. It may be that they have dealt with a wide range of claims or alternatively they only take on cases within certain areas. In light of this you should be able assess whether or not the solicitor will be capable of dealing with your case successfully. Not only this, but numerous solicitors will refuse to work on a case which is not privately funded. This may suit you, however some medical negligence cases (for example involving the NHS) have a public interest and therefore legal aid may be available to you. Try to find a solicitor that will deal with both types of funding, if legal aid then becomes available to you, you will not be limited paying for your legal advice out of private funds only.

Remember that many thousands of solicitors deal with accident compensation claims – but very few are medical negligence specialists.

About the Author:
Bonallack and Bishop are specialist Medical Negligence Solicitors with members of both the Law Society “Clinical Negligence Accreditation Scheme” and AvMA (Action against Medical Accidents) panels and whose personal injury team have considerable experience of making all types of accident compensation claims.
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