5 things to consider when seeking legal support

Jackie Linehan, legal director at Enable Law and member of the AvMA specialist Clinical Negligence Panel, explains what parents and carers should know about legal support 

1. Why should parents and carers seek legal support?

A brain injury can not only change your child’s life, but your family's way of life as you knew it. With the benefit of compensation it can be possible to put in place the best care, technology, therapies, education and, if needed, suitable accommodation to allow your child to have greater independence and to meet needs, whatever they may be.

2. If you think that your child's injury is as a result of someone else's fault, speak to a solicitor.

Although legal action might be the last thing on your mind when your life has been turned upside down, if you speak to a specialist solicitor early on they can help walk you through the necessary process and take the pressure away from you. They will be there for you but will take the burden from you. Normally there are only three years to bring a legal claim and it can take 12–18 months to properly investigate a claim. It’s therefore good to seek legal advice early and make sure that everything is in place and the deadline is not missed.

3. Ensure that the solicitor you choose is a specialist.

Injury law is a very specialist area and you want to ensure that you receive the best service. When seeking legal advice speak to a specialist and not your local high street practice of family solicitor. Look for solicitors who are registered with specialist panels. This will ensure that you are speaking to someone who knows what they are doing. The following organisations hold approved/ specialist solicitor panels: The solicitor doesn’t need to be local to where you live. It’s more important that the solicitor you instruct is a specialist and will do the best professional job for your child.

4. There shouldn't be any cost for the initial enquiry and it may be possible to fund the claim on a Conditional Fee Agreement (no win, no fee)

Most specialist injury firms will not make any charge for your initial enquiry to see if there is a claim. If there is merit in pursuing a claim it’s likely they will be able to offer a Conditional Fee Agreement (no win, no fee) to allow the claim to be investigated with minimal or no cost to you.

5. How to manage legal support alongside caring for your injured child

When your child has suffered a brain injury you will be dedicating all of your time juggling their care and trying to keep 'normal life' going. A good law firm will understand this and take the pressure away from you and do the investigation work.   Find out more: Enable law is a specialist medical negligence and serious injury practice. You can read about the firm’s brain injury work and watch its video.
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