Use of a solicitor
You will receive the necessary assistance from NPE when applying for compensation and you will normally not need any help from a solicitor. Nevertheless, legal costs will be covered in some cases. If you are represented by a solicitor, all correspondence and contact will take place via the solicitor. The solicitor's role will be to send copies of letters and other information on to you.
When you are considering applying for compensation
Legal fees during this phase will not be covered. Please contact us by telephone if you are considering whether you should apply for compensation or if you have any other questions. We have specialist expertise in house, both medical and legal, and will provide you with guidance and information. We have no vested interest in whether or not you apply for compensation. In many cases, you can also get assistance and input from the patient ombudsman and healthcare personnel.
Completing the claim form
If the person applying for compensation has difficulty communicating with us, it is, in certain cases, possible to get legal expenses covered to obtain assistance from a solicitor when completing the claim form and to follow up on the case while it is being processed by NPE. An example of this would be if the compensation claimant has difficulties reading, writing or speaking. Or if the applicant does not speak Norwegian or is unable to manage their own affairs due to reduced mental capacity. In many cases, the patient ombudsman and healthcare personnel may also be able to assist in completing the claim form.
Administrative procedure before a decision is made
If you use a solicitor, all correspondence will be sent directly to the solicitor. If we have any questions relating to your case, we will contact your solicitor. The solicitor will be informed of what is happening at all times, through letters that we issue or receive. The solicitor will be responsible for forwarding all information to you.
Appealing a decision
If your claim is refused, you can lodge an appeal against the decision with the Patient Injury Compensation Board. "Helseklage" acts as the secretariat of the Patient Injury Compensation Board and will administer the case. We will provide you with information about how to appeal if your application is refused and you must then submit your appeal to us within three weeks. NPE will not normally cover legal expenses for a solicitor associated with the appeal. Nevertheless, if you choose to use a solicitor and the appeal results in a reversal and approval, any reasonable and necessary costs incurred by you in connection with the preparation and management of the appeal will be covered.
When NPE will determine the compensation amount
If your claim is approved, we need to determine the compensation amount. During this phase of the administrative procedure, we will require further information and input from you. The claims manager will identify the consequences of the injury, any financial consequences you have already incurred and any future consequences you may experience.
During this phase, legal expenses for a solicitor will be covered to a reasonable and necessary extent. You cannot demand prior approval from us with regard to the legal expenses that may be covered.
Typical tasks that a solicitor could help with include:
- submitting the documentation that we request
- providing guidance to you and acting as the point of contact between you and NPE
- identifying the financial consequences incurred as a result of the injury and submitting a report to us with regard to what you are claiming compensation for
- evaluating the amount offered by us as compensation
Does NPE cover legal expenses for a solicitor?
If you have decided to use a solicitor to apply for compensation, you can contact us for an assessment as to whether we will cover the costs. It is important that you have specific grounds to demonstrate why it would be right for NPE to cover such expenses.
If we cover the costs of your lawyer, the lawyer cannot claim any money from you for services rendered. An example of this is if the lawyer wants to cover the difference between what we pay and what the lawyer usually charges as an hourly rate. We cover all the lawyer's expenses.