28 Mar How Much Is Making A Personal Injury Claim Going To Cost Me?
In the United Kingdom, practically all personal injury claims are processed on a ‘no win, no fee’ basis. ‘No win, no fee’ is actually a conditional agreement, stipulating that should a client lose the case, then he or she will not be liable for their own solicitor’s fees.
Conditional fee agreements were introduced into the British justice system in 1995 and since then the number of personal injury claims made has skyrocketed. The aim of the conditional fee agreement was to level the legal playing field and give everybody access to justice, no matter who they were without prejudice. And to that effect, ‘no win, no fee’ has been a tremendous success. Here’s what you need to know about no win, no fee costs:
The Basics of no Win, no Fee
The basics of ‘no win, no fee’ are as such – the solicitor and the claimant sign an agreement clearly stipulating who or what will be liable for any costs should a claim win or lose. If a case should win, then the client will not have the pay their solicitor’s fees out of their own pocket. Instead, those costs will be recovered from the other side (the defendant), or they will be taken from the total compensation pay-out. Current legislation stipulates that no win, no fee solicitors can take a maximum 25% to cover their costs.
Should a claim lose, however, then the claimant may be liable for the other side’s costs including legal fees. Most people are indeed billed by the other side when their claim loses, usually for thousands of pounds. However, it is rare for the claimant to pay these costs out of their own pocket. That is because most claimants take out ‘After the event (ATE) Insurance’. ATE insurance covers the claimant in the event that their claim loses, and most solicitors make this compulsory, while some build it into an agreement. A new application for a claim will only usually be processed if the applicant takes out insurance to cover them.
And so, in the vast majority of cases, should your claim win or lose under a conditional fee agreement, it won’t cost you anything. You will have nothing to pay. Things to keep in mind are that your solicitor can take 25% of your compensation pay-out to cover their costs if your claim wins, and the other side may bill you if your claim loses. However, before you go ahead with an accident claim, it is important to get proper legal advice. A solicitor or claims advisor will be able to help you ascertain your eligibility for making a claim plus much more.