If you have suffered a personal injury through no fault of your own, taking legal action to recover compensation can feel like a daunting undertaking. Although the benefits of hiring a personal injury lawyer may be clear, you may be concerned about the potential costs of hiring an experienced law firm. Fortunately, in many cases personal injury services are now available to all through the option of no win no fee service.
Also known as a conditional fee agreement, no win no fee schemes were introduced in 1995. They were established to help ensure that people like you, who have been injured through no fault of your own, could use the services of a personal injury solicitor without the risk of financial loss. Previous to this, only those who could afford to pay for the services of an injury lawyer would be able to make a claim, therefore limiting people’s access to justice.
By choosing to make a personal injury claim with the help of an experienced solicitor, you will benefit from the following:
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What Does the Term ‘No Win No Fee’ Mean?
Injury solicitors will aim to take on your personal injury case on a no win no fee basis. This gives you the confidence of knowing that if your claim is unsuccessful, no fees will be payable. By using this arrangement, you can receive expert legal advice without any upfront financial investment or vulnerability.
Solicitors that offer to process a claim on a no win, no fee agreement do so knowing that they take on the financial risk that they might receive no payments for their services. For this reason, your solicitor will assess your case before taking on your injury claim. In doing so, the solicitor will look to establish whether you have strong grounds to make a claim against the council, and the likelihood of success.
If your case is taken on, you will not be asked to pay any fees upfront or throughout the case, and you will only cover the costs of the service if and when your claim is won and you receive your compensation.
How Does ‘No Win, No Fee’ Work?
In 2013, the Government made some changes to the no win, no fee system in England and Wales. Before April 2013, injury solicitors were able to offer a 100% compensation guarantee for many accident claim cases. This was possible as the party that lost the claim would pay the solicitors costs on top of the compensation award. However, since this date, these costs are no longer payable by the losing party. This means that if your claim is successful, you may now be expected to pay for some of your legal fees out of the compensation you are awarded.
The percentage taken from the compensation that is awarded to clients is different in each case, but your solicitor will inform you of the fees during your free consultation. The maximum success fee will be 25% of your compensation award. The whole process is transparent and upfront, and the decision to proceed is completely up to you. In effect, your solicitor takes a risk of failure and no payment in return for you accepting to pay a success fee once they win the case on your behalf.
How to Choose the Best Solicitor for a No Win No Fee Claim
Choosing the most suitable solicitor for your no win, no fee case involves some comparative research. Taking advantage of a free initial consultation service is a prime opportunity to ask questions and enables your solicitor to understand and assess your case for compensation.
During your free claim assessment, you can expect the following:
- The solicitor will ask for information about your accident, such as what happened, who you believe to be at fault, what injuries you have suffered and any evidence you may have to support your claim.
- The solicitor will explain how they can help you and provide information about the claims process, such as how long the case is likely to take.
- If you are eligible to make a claim, the solicitor will offer to take your case on a no win no fee basis and explain how this works.
- They will confirm the percentage that will be payable from your compensation if your accident claim is successful.
For your solicitor to assess the chances of a successful outcome and offer a no win no fee arrangement, it is important that they have thorough details of your case. It is therefore wise to provide as much information and evidence as possible during your initial discussion. In doing so, your solicitor will be able to fully evaluate your claim and provide you with accurate legal advice.
How are Costs Paid to the Solicitor if I Win My Case?
If you are successful and win your case, your solicitor fees will be taken directly from the compensation once it has been awarded and paid. As already mentioned, how much the solicitor will be paid would be agreed with you before taking on your claim. So there are no surprises or unexpected costs, with everything being made 100% clear right from the beginning.
In the unlikely event that you claim is unsuccessful, you would not be expected to pay your solicitor a penny. This is the key benefit of the no win no fee service, and means you can focus on recovering from your injurious without the added worry of putting yourself at any financial risk.