Being a Litigation Friend for a Medical Negligence Claim
If you have a friend or family member who has suffered as a result of medical negligence, but is unable to make a claim themselves, you may be able to do so for them by acting as their ‘litigation friend’.
A litigation friend’s duties include:
- Making decisions about the claim for the Claimant (injured person)
- Keeping the Claimant informed and establishing their wishes as much as possible
- Working with the solicitors handling the claim and giving them instructions
- Paying any relevant court costs
Your role as litigation friend will usually end once the claim is resolved. If the Claimant is under 18, however, you will normally remain in the role until they turn 18 and are able to access any money paid out as a result of the claim.
Wolferstans’ medical negligence solicitors are highly experienced in working with litigation friends. We can provide the clear, empathetic support you need to carry out this important and demanding role, helping to ensure you are able to achieve the right outcome for your loved one.
To arrange a free initial no obligation consultation and find out more about acting as a litigation friend or starting a medical negligence claim on behalf of a loved one please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
When might a litigation friend be appointed?
Typically, a litigation friend will be appointed for someone with grounds for a medical negligence claim who is one of the following:
- An adult who does not have the mental capacity to pursue a claim by themselves (e.g. where they have suffered a serious brain injury or have severe learning difficulties)
- Under the age of 18
Whether someone has mental capacity will be decided by a judge based on an assessment by an approved medical specialist.
Who can be a litigation friend?
Anyone can be appointed as a litigation friend, as long as they are considered suitable to carry out the role in the claimant’s best interests.
Normally a litigation friend will be one of the following:
- A parent or guardian
- Another close family member
- A friend
- A Court of Protection deputy
- A solicitor
- Another professional advocate
To be considered suitable to be a litigation friend, a court will need to be satisfied that:
- Your interests don’t conflict with those of the Claimant
- You will be able to make fair and competent decisions on their behalf
How to become a litigation friend
To become a litigation friend for a medical negligence claim, you will need to apply to a court to establish your suitability for the role.
If you are acting as a Court of Protection deputy for the Claimant and this includes permission to act as their litigation friend, you will need to provide a copy of the relevant court order.
If you are not acting as a Court of Protection deputy, you will need to submit a certificate of suitability to the court to establish your fitness for the role.
Our solicitors can help you with the entire process of applying to become a litigation friend, making it as simple and stress-free as possible, allowing you to focus your energies on supporting your loved one.
Get expert legal support when acting as a litigation friend for a medical negligence claim
To arrange a free initial no obligation consultation and find out more about acting as a litigation friend or starting a medical negligence claim on behalf of a loved one, please email email@example.com.