Who pays the cost of medical assessments for personal injury claims?

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Claimants often ask us why solicitors want access to medical records, why they should be required to undergo a specialist medical assessment of their injuries and who will pay for it.

Medical evidence wins claims

To be in a position to succeed with a claim for personal injury compensation, claimants need to prove certain things. In order to prove how much compensation the claimant should receive for their injury, they need to provide medical evidence to support their claim. With this in mind, your solicitor will want to view your medical records relevant to the treatment you have had for your injury. They will then send this to a suitably qualified medical expert and arrange an appointment for you to see the expert.

During this appointment, the expert will medically assess you, discuss your situation and review your treatment. They can then write a report outlining the severity of your injury, what treatments have been needed, what treatments will still be required, whether you have made a full recovery, and if not, how long your recovery will take or if you will ever fully recover.

This report will be passed to both your solicitor and the 3rd party insurers defending the claim. It provides the base for both sides to discuss claim valuations and agree a personal injury claim settlement amount. Without such a report, it is not possible to prove the extent of an injury and therefore agree how much compensation you should receive.

You won’t have to pay for a medical assessment

Of course, such medical experts cost money, so who pays the cost for this service? From the claimants perspective, they need not worry about this as the cost is not their problem. During the Direct2Compensation claims process, your solicitor will pay the cost of the medical assessment and this is called a disbursement. The solicitor will be able to reclaim the cost of this from the 3rd party should they succeed with your claim and it will not be deducted from your settlement value. If the solicitor fails with the claim, they will deal with the cost and it is not the claimants responsibility.

20 questions have been answered below, why not ask your own?

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Questions & Answers

  • Younus

    Hi I am a medical expert and I do a medical reports but mostly through legal aid. I am considering doing personal injury. Solicitors are approaching me. I’m not sure how the payment works (psychiatrist). Do I need to stipulate in the letter of engagement with the solicitor that the cost for my expert report should be paid up front on completion of the report? I have had bad experience in the past where a solicitor hasn’t paid and I have lost thousands of pounds doing hard work and being paid nothing at all. Can you please advise? Thank you

    Reply
    • Ian Morris

      When it comes to a medical expert being instructed to have an appointment with a claimant and provide a report of their injuries, suitable treatment recommendations and a prognosis for recovery, a Solicitor will pay the cost regardless of the outcome of the claim and then seek to recover the cost from the defendant should they succeed with their claim.

      Reply
  • Roy

    I have had a medical report from an independent medical advisor regarding my broken and subsequently repaired humerus. The NHS have closed my medical file. The independent medical advisor suggested i have a private mri scan to prove what i don’t know and that i pay for it. I thought no win no fee solicitors should not demand i pay for the scan. Your opinion would be useful and i may well be asking you to handle my case.

    Reply
    • Ian Morris

      If your Solicitor instructed a medical expert to provide the report, you should not be paying the costs for any scan as the Solicitor should do this and recover the costs in due course.

      Reply
  • Peter

    My medical expert requested an MRI before giving a final prognosis on the outcome and effects of my injury in the future. My solicitors recommended a MRI clinic and their fee was £1000. Should they deduct this from my expenses or should they claim that separately and not deduct it from my compensation?. Also, my psychological report was delayed through no fault of my own as the legal advisor hung onto it for two weeks. in meantime the insurance company came through with a second offer which was reasonable and I wanted to accept it but the lawyer said that I would have to pay for the psychological report as it came through after the offer was made by the insurance company even though the insurance company knew that one was going to be delivered and had a report from my private psychologist stating that I had suffered from post traumatic stress due to being hit by a reversing car. Is this correct? should I be charged for that too when it was a dereliction of duty not to have sent the report immediately after it was received by the lawyer and I had checked it?

    Reply
    • Ian Morris

      In most cases, it is only possible to recover the cost of one medical expert report when settling a claim for compensation. This can vary in complex cases where multiple injuries were sustained or where two separate types of injury – such as with you, physical and psychological – require experts of different medical specialities to provide reports.

      In your case, has your Solicitor spoken with the defendant and asked if they will consider covering the cost of the 2nd report given the relevance to your claim?

      Reply
  • Diana

    My mum as just received a settlement claim, unfortunately she passed away in October, so won’t see it, but they have taken off treatment fees, and obviously the insurance and their 25% over £5000 of her settlement, I don’t understand why they have taken treatment fees.

    Reply
    • Ian Morris

      You need to ask the Solicitors for a written breakdown of the total claim settlement and what has been allowed for various things – including treatment costs. It could well be that the Solicitor had to fund the cost of rehab treatments and that they must then deduct those from the total settlement amount.

      Reply
      • Tracie

        After 5 years my daughter has accepted a nett settlement figure, her solicitor has written to say that the other side will not accept his costs and he is trying to resolve this. She has signed the acceptance of the settlement figure nett so will she have to pay costs out of this if solicitor cannot get third party to accept his costs?

        Reply
        • Ian Morris

          It is unlikely that the defendant will not accept any of the Solicitors costs. The Solicitor may have to explain certain costs, but it should be resolved in your daughters favour. However, claimants do face the prospect of contributing to their Solicitors costs in some circumstances. However, in a No Win No Fee case, any such contribution towards the claimants Solicitors costs should be capped at 25% of any agreed settlement.

          Reply
  • Alan

    How much does a medical report typically cost?

    Reply
    • Ian Morris

      Of course, it varies depending on the nature of the instruction or the kind of medical expert report that is being asked for. However, as guide you can expect a medical experts report to cost in the region of £800 – £1200.

      Reply
  • John

    Can costs of a medical expert be recovered if we as claimant are not represented by a solicitor?
    Can the cost be part of special damages?

    Reply
    • Ian Morris

      Medical expert report costs are usually a recoverable cost. However, before instructing a specialist, it is wise to ensure that the defendant agrees to the instruction and costs of the report.

      Reply
  • Mary

    Hi my mum has been asked for 600 pounds to get a scan in a personal injury claim is this common practice?
    Thanks

    Reply
    • Ian Morris

      Far from being normal or common, for a claimant to be asked to pay any costs during the process of claiming compensation is extremely unusual and should be queried! The only reason that a claimant could be asked to pay a fee for a scan or medical report is if the claimant is demanding a 2nd opinion (if a first medical report did not give the claimant the news that they had hoped for). A claimant can only recover the cost of a medical report or medical costs if they succeed and it is unlikely that a defendant would be expected to pay for a 2nd opinion.

      If your Mother has not demanded a 2nd opinion, if her claim is being managed on a No Win No Fee basis, she should query this cost demand fully.

      Reply
  • Joseph

    If one of my medical reports is deficient or negligent do I need to approach another expert?
    Who pays for this additional report and can the other side see the previous deficient report?

    Reply
    • Ian Morris

      If there is a demonstrable inaccuracy in a medical report, it should be pointed out and notified to both sides as in that case, a further report can be instructed and the claimant would not bear the cost.

      However, if you simply have a view that your report is deficient in some way and you wish to seek a further report from a different expert, the other side are unlikely to pay the cost of that and you would have to undertake to pay that cost.

      Reply
  • Ashley

    My current solicitor is asking me to pay for a medical examination, by a surgeon, I was expecting no fees whatsoever.

    Reply
    • Ian Morris

      If you are being represented on a conditional fee agreement (no win no fee) basis, you should not be paying for the medical assessment.

      Reply
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