Group Claims FAQs

Group Claims FAQs

Group Claims FAQs

Group actions can seem very complex, so we have pulled together a list of the most common questions to help you find the information you are looking for. Click on the list of questions to find the relevant answer.

Is it possible to win?
Can I pursue my case as an individual?
How much will it cost?
How long will it take?
Will I be a lead or test case?
Can I mediate my case?

Is it possible to win?

The answer is yes, it is possible to win, even in the most complicated cases and against large and powerful organisations. However, no one should enter into a case assuming they are bound to succeed. In some circumstances the evidence may not support the claim or the Court may rule against you.

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Can I pursue my case as an individual?

You can pursue your case as an individual provided the Court agrees and you are able to fund your case. However, there are certain advantages to group action which include the implementation of a co-ordinated process designed to resolve the issues that arise, access to a full range of expert witnesses and the sharing of costs between claimants.

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How much will it cost?

Your solicitors should explain the possible costs of a group action claim to you in detail. Group actions can result in high levels of legal and experts fees but usually these costs can be shared between all of the individuals involved in the group action. Costs may only be outlined in very general terms because it is difficult to predict the precise course a case of this type will take or how long it will last. You should, nevertheless, be given broad estimates as to the likely cost and any potential liability you may face if the case is unsuccessful.

Funding options include:

  • Private funding - You may choose to privately fund your case which means that you are responsible for paying your legal fees and expenses as the case proceeds.
  • Legal Aid/public funding - Whilst Legal Aid is no longer available for personal injury claims, public funding is available in certain circumstances for group claims including those for personal injury.
  • Individual conditional fee agreements - Your solicitors may be prepared to enter into a conditional fee agreement with you. This means that you only pay their fees if the case is successful and these are usually reimbursed by your opponent. If you lose, you do not pay solicitors fees but they may require you to pay for expenses, and you will be responsible for the defendant's costs. Insurance is available to meet the costs of your case.
  • Legal Expenses Insurance - Legal Expenses Insurance may be available to you with your household insurance policy or by purchasing a specific policy to cover legal costs. You should investigate your existing insurance arrangements to see if any cover is provided and ask your solicitor to discuss the possibility of after the event insurance with you.
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How long will it take?

Group actions are often more complicated than the average claim, and this can mean that it takes longer to conclude. Sometimes, however, the importance of a particular claim can cause it to be brought to a conclusion quickly. Some cases have been finished within two years, but four to five years is not uncommon.

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Will I be a lead or test case?

Usually only a small number of claims are heard at trial, rarely more than ten. This means that many claimants are not chosen as lead or test cases. In joining a group action you will be agreeing to accept the selection process and await the outcome of the trial if your case is not selected. 

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Can I mediate my case?

Mediation can be a valuable method of resolving disputes, even where a number of parties are involved on both sides. Mediation tends to be a less formal method of resolving disputes where a mediator facilitates discussions but has no binding authority to reach any decision. Mediation can also provide alternative remedies to compensation. Mediation was successful in resolving the Royal Liverpool Children's Hospital cases brought against the NHSLA in relation to the retention of organs from deceased children.

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