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  • Why should I use McKeag & Co Solicitors?
    We are recognised as one of the leading personal injury practices in the country.
  • What criteria needs to be met to receive fully funded NHS Care?
    You must be able to show that you have a primary need for health care. This is determined by carrying out what is known as a Continuing Care assessment. A trained assessor will complete a document called a ‘decision support tool’ which helps a panel of healthcare professionals to reach a decision. The decision support tool looks at the care needs in a total of 11 care domains and grades them as Low, Moderate High, Severe or Priority. If you have one priority need or two severe needs you should automatically qualify for free care. If however, you have a number of care needs which are graded high and/or moderate you may still qualify and it may be worth appealing against any decision not to provide free care.
  • If I go into a Care home, how much capital am I allowed before I have to pay towards my Care home fees?
    From April 2009 the first £14,000 of any Capital is totally disregarded. If you have Capital of between £14,000 and £23,000, then you will be treated as having additional weekly income of £1 for every £250 over £14,000 for the purpose of assessing how much you have to pay towards your fees. If your Capital is over £23,000 then you will be expected to pay the full cost of your care. Capital can include the value of your former home after the first 12 weeks of you becoming a permanent resident in a care home. The value of your home is however disregarded if any of the following people still live in the property: Your partner A lone parent who is your estranged or divorced partner A child under the age of 16 A relative over the age of 60 A relative who is incapacitated by reason of long term illness or disability.
  • What is a deferred payment agreement for Care homes?
    A deferred payment agreement is an arrangement whereby the Local Authority helps to pay the cost of the care home fees pending the sale of a property. In return they secure their interest by way of a legal charge on the property. This then enables them to recover any fees paid from the proceeds of the sale when the property is eventually sold. Such arrangements are interest free until 56 days after the date of the resident’s death. You should always seek independent legal advice before signing a deferred payment agreement.
  • My elderly parent has been informed that they cannot receive free NHS Care because they only have social needs. What does this mean?
    In order to qualify for free NHS care you must show that you have medical needs which are considered to be intense, complex and unpredictable. Medical needs must be more than merely incidental to your overall care package. Social care is the practical and emotional support that is provided to help people do the everyday things that most of us take for granted. e.g. getting in and out of bed, getting washed and dressed, eating at mealtimes etc., as well as keeping an eye on someone to make sure they are safe.
  • Is there a time limit for bringing a medical negligence claim?
    Yes. The basic principle for a claim brought in England and Wales is that court proceedings must be commenced within three years of either the date of an allegedly negligent treatment or the claimant’s (the patient’s) date of knowledge. To have knowledge the claimant must be aware they have suffered a significant injury, know who was responsible for it and that it was caused in whole or part by negligence. In cases involving death, the general rule is that the three years runs from the date of death. In cases involving children, the three years does not start to run until they reach the age of 18. For people with brain injury or certain mental illness who are judged incompetent, the three-year rule is disapplied.
  • Are there any alternative ways of highlighting shortcomings in healthcare other than by pursuing a claim for compensation?
    Yes. For NHS treatment a complaint process exists Organization's providing treatment outside the NHS may have their own complaints process. Many healthcare professionals have professional regulatory bodies such as the General Medical Council and General Dental Council to whom concerns about individual practitioners can be directed. In other circumstances, contacting your local Member of Parliament or press may be an alternative to seeking legal advice.
  • How long will it take to conclude a medical negligence claim?
    Each case is different. It depends on many factors including the complexity of the case, the disease processes under consideration, the availability of records, the extent of necessary expert evidence, the attitude of the defendant, and court timetables.
  • Who decides whether medical treatment was negligent?
    Ultimately, it would be a judge relying on expert evidence from medical professionals if the case was one of the small percentage of medical negligence claims that go to trial. The test for clinical negligence was laid down by the court over 50 years ago. Fundamentally, it is the opinion of other healthcare professionals within the relevant specialty, not the opinion of the patient, their family or friends, that determines whether a claimant’s treatment can be described as negligent or not.
  • Is there a no fault compensation scheme for medical negligence in this country?
    No. For compensation to be paid the claimant has to prove each aspect of their case. The claimant has the burden of proving their treatment was negligent, the negligent treatment caused harm, the extent of that harm and ultimately, the financial value of that harm.
  • What funding options are available to pay for medical negligence claims?
    The options are limited. Some trade unions will provide financial support to their members, legal expenses cover under existing insurance policies may be available, legal aid is an option for those who satisfy certain criteria, if a case is strong a ‘no win, no fee’ agreement with or without supportive insurance would be a possibility and finally a claimant may use their own money as they would to purchase other goods or services.
  • How much compensation will I receive for a personal injury claim?
    The level of compensation will depend upon the nature and extent of your injury, or condition, along with any additional losses and expenses incurred (such as loss of earnings). No two claims are ever identical and we believe that it is unhelpful to provide general estimates which may not apply to your personal injury case. We will, however, provide you with such an estimate once we have received all relevant evidence. Our aim is always to maximise the level of compensation you will ultimately receive.
  • Do you offer ‘No win, no fee’?
    Yes, we do. This means that if your personal injury claim is not successful, you will not pay a penny of our legal fees.
  • How long will my personal injury claim take to conclude?
    This can depend on a variety of factors such as whether your symptoms from the injury, or condition, are continuing or who the claim is being pursued against. Here at McKeag & Co Solicitors, we endeavour to give you an immediate view in relation to the prospects of success of your claim and the likely length of time it will take to conclude. We always try to bring claims to a conclusion as swiftly as possible but only when we are able to ensure the appropriate level of compensation.
  • Will I have to go to court for a personal injury claim?
    Generally, most personal injury cases settle without going all the way to trial. If, however, no proposals in settlement are forthcoming or the offers are unreasonable, then your case may have to be heard in front of a judge. The judge will determine whether you are entitled to personal injury compensation and if so what level of compensation is appropriate. You will be accompanied by the solicitor having conduct of your case or a barrister instructed on your behalf.
  • Will I have to see a lot of experts to make a personal injury claim?
    To have a successful personal injury claim, we will need you to be medically examined by at least one medical expert, or maybe more depending on the nature and extent of your injuries or condition. All medical experts will be fully aware of the circumstances of your accident or disease and the background to your cases. In most occasions they will need to see your full medical records which we will obtain on your behalf. We select experts near to your home to avoid any inconvenience to you. Most of our experts are flexible enough to accommodate both evening and weekend appointments and are conveniently located nearby in Newcastle and throughout the North East.
  • Are you able to provide home appointments to discuss a personal injury claim?
    We are able to offer both home and hospital appointments. Our office is located in Gosforth, Newcastle.
  • Can I make a personal injury claim if it is three years after the accident?
    There are time limits for starting court proceedings in personal injury claims. Generally, you have to start proceedings by the third anniversary of the accident. In certain circumstances, a judge may allow the claim to continue even if it is brought outside three years. The best course of action is to seek legal advice sooner rather than later.
  • Do you give legal advice on all types of accident claims?
    Yes we do. We offer expert legal advice on a wide range of accident claims. We have expertise in all types of road traffic accidents (whether you are the driver, passenger, pedestrian or cyclist), workplace accidents, as well as slips, trips and falls. We can also advise in accidents of the utmost severity such as amputation, brain and head injury claims, as well as all type of child accident claims.
  • Is there a time limit within which I must bring a claim for an industrial disease?
    Yes, the law imposes time limits within which court proceedings must be started. Proceedings must be started within three years from the date when you became aware or, should in all the circumstances, have been aware that your condition may have arisen due to the negligence of a third party. In the event proceedings are not started within this period the court is unlikely to consider your case on the grounds that it is out of time. Issues relating to the time limits in relation to Industrial diseases can be very complex. In the event that you believe you may be suffering from an industrial disease you should immediately contact your GP to try to obtain a diagnosis after which you should seek legal advice.
  • Will I be told whether my personal injury case will be successful or not?
    At the initial consultation a member of the specialist Personal Injury team will be assigned to your case and he or she will endeavour to provide you with their expert opinion as soon as possible. You will be informed at an early stage whether your case is likely to be successful. In certain circumstances, further information will be required to assist in assessing your claim. If this is the case, you will be advised as to what information is needed.
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