Anyone who has sustained an injury in an accident is entitled to file an accident claim if the accident was the fault of the other party. This seems pretty straightforward and almost everyone is aware of their legal right in such a case. However, the high cost of obtaining the necessary legal help is what deters most people from filing accident claims even if they know for sure that the accident was not their fault.
The “No Win No Fee” accident claim was introduced to resolve this dilemma and give claimants a fair chance of obtaining the compensation due to them even if they do not have the funds to pay the upfront fees required to hire a no win no fee solicitor.
What No Win No Fee Means
In the case of accident claims, you will find many solicitors in the UK today who are willing to take up your case on a ‘no win no fee’ basis. What ‘no win no fee’ means is, if the solicitor or law firm does not win the case for you, you do not pay the solicitor’s fees.
When you and the law firm get into such an agreement, it essentially means that they are willing to offer you a service while covering all legal aspects of your situation. You do not incur any upfront costs at all. In other words, the ‘no win no fee’ solicitor takes the risk on your case. In return for them taking the risk of failure, you will be expected to pay a ‘success fee’ if you win the case.
How Does No Win No Fee Work?
Under a “No Win No Fee” agreement, you the claimant will only be expected to pay your solicitor’s fees if the ‘no win no fee’ claim is decided in your favour. These agreed costs are usually a percentage of the compensation awarded and they are recovered directly from the compensation. The document that sets out the details of the arrangement is called the CFA or the Conditional Fee Agreement. This is a formal, legally binding written agreement between you and your solicitor.
As of April 2013, solicitors are permitted to set a percentage of the damages you recover as their success fees. It is always a good idea to ask the solicitor about their payment terms and any other details that you need to know before you sign this agreement. Our own fees are highly competitive and we’d always advise contacting us to see how we compare before signing on the dotted line.
When you go to a law firm (such as ours) to discuss a ‘No Win No Fee’ accident claim, the solicitor will first assess the situation and will go over all of the documents associated with your case.
You can expect that they will go over every detail and will only agree to take on the case on a ‘No Win No Fee’ basis if they are almost 100% sure of being able to win the case for you. After all, they are the ones who are taking the risk and have everything to lose. If they do not win the case, you are not liable to pay anything and so you have nothing relatively speaking to lose.
If the law firm decides to take on your case, they will explain and discuss details of the CFA with you and will keep you in the loop at every step of the way.
All of our solicitors work on a ‘no win no fee’ basis and we are always happy to discuss any concerns or questions you may have. We would also kindly suggest contacting us or a solicitor of your choosing at your earliest convenience as time really is of the essence when starting a claim.
What You Should Know
If the personal injury claim is successful, the major portion of the legal costs will be recovered from the insurance company of the other party. Your contribution to the compensation is limited to the percentage that you agreed upon in the CFA.
If the claim is unsuccessful, how much you are expected to pay depends on the agreement you signed. While you do not have to pay the solicitor’s fees, if you had agreed to pay the court costs, expert’s charges and any other miscellaneous expenses, then you will have to cover those fees.
Typical No Win No Fee Percentage
The typical ‘no win no fee’ percentage is 25%. However, as with any legally binding documents you should always check the small print before signing, and double or triple check exactly what you may be charged.
Although a solicitor may agree to take your claim on for less than the typical ‘no win no fee’ percentage there might be other charges added on that you might not want, or indeed need. These charges could include items such as After The Event insurance. If you’d like to know what our fees are then please get in touch.
A Final Thought
Most personal injury and accident claims have a time limit of 3 years or sometimes less than that. If you think you are entitled to accident claim compensation, it’s worth consulting a solicitor about filing a no win no fee claim. You can be sure the advice you receive will be completely impartial and will cost you nothing.