Medical negligence cases are often complex because they look at the decisions medical professionals made when they provided care to a claimant which may have caused a medical injury. The key question in medical negligence cases is; “What would another reasonably competent medical professional do in the same circumstances?”. This question can only be answered by other medical professionals. This is why claimants have examinations and reports from expert medical witnesses – a claimant’s case is dependent on these expert medical opinions.
The cost of expert medical reports is important to consider. Depending on the complexity of a case, the claimant may need to see more than 1 medical expert. Expert medical reviews and reports can cost over several thousand pounds each. So how are claimants protected from these costs?
Express Solicitors provide “No win, no fee” agreements and use ‘after the event’ legal expenses insurance policies, otherwise known as ATE policies. ATE policies are purchased in the early stages of a claimant’s case. The policy covers the costs of disbursements like examinations with medical experts and medical report writing. They also cover other disbursements like the costs of adverse judgements and court fees. The cost of an ATE policy is made up of 2 parts. The first is the part of the premium that can be recovered from the other side. The second is the non-recoverable part of the premium. This is paid by the claimant from the compensation once the claim is successful. It is not an out of pocket expense for the claimant. If the claim is unsuccessful, the ATE policy will pay the disbursements including the medical expert reports and will also protect the claimant from having to pay the other sides costs. The other advantage of ATE policies is that the solicitor is able to pursue the claim in the best interests of their client and has the freedom to engage the best medical experts safe in the knowledge that there is no financial risk to the client.