If you win
If you win, you are required to pay the lawyers charges, expenses, disbursements and any insurance premium which is taken out. You will usually be able to recover some if not all of these charges from the other side. These fees can be paid from any compensation awarded and no fees will become payable until the outcome of the case is confirmed.
The solicitors’ assessment of risk will include considering all relevant factors; including the merits and value of the claim, the likelihood of settlement, the level of costs likely to be incurred, as to whether the case is heavily dependent upon factual or uncertain expert evidence, and as to the information and documentation available as at the date when the CFA is entered into.
The solicitor will define success criteria and if these criteria are achieved (i.e. the case is won) a success fee will be payable by you in addition to the normal fees. This success fee will be paid out of any damages that you are awarded. The success fee is subject to a maximum limit of 25% of compensation.
If you lose
You need to be aware that if the personal injury claim is unsuccessful, you will not be liable for the lawyers’ fees but the opponent, the other side, may seek to recover their costs from you although this is unusual.
Legal expense insurance
In some insurance policies, you already have legal expenses insurance. This is also called “before the event” insurance as it can be taken out in advance of a problem occurring.
To put this in context, your home or car insurance policies are “before the event” policies as they are taken out before you need to claim.
When we review potential personal injury claims, we see whether you can take advantage of legal expenses insurance to cover any potential legal costs which you would have to be pay if the claim is unsuccessful. You may also be covered as an additional benefit on any pre-existing bank accounts.
If you don’t already have “before the event” insurance, there may also be the opportunity to take out a new policy to insure against an unsuccessful case. These policies are called “after the event” insurance policies because they are taken out once the incident has occurred. Solicitors and insurers will review the potential claim and assess the risks to see whether an “after the event” insurance policy can be set up.
What does this mean to you?
If you think that you have a personal injury claim, the first thing you should do is to discuss your claim with our expert solicitor Jeanette Whyman to find out how strong your claim is.
It is really important to work with a personal injury solicitor who will be honest with you and evaluate your case calmly and clearly to see whether your claim will be successful. Jeanette has been working with clients on personal injury cases for many years and will be able to give you this honest assessment.
This initial assessment is free of charge as it is our opportunity to find out more about your potential claim and you can find out more about how we would propose to handle your case. At this point we would also see whether you have “before the event” legal expenses insurance by reviewing any insurance policies that you have or seeing whether you are entitled through any of your bank accounts. If you do not have this type of insurance we will also consider whether “after the event” insurance is available to you.
A brief history of no win no fee
No win no fee claims were introduced in 1995, designed to give access to legal representation to everyone, regardless of their financial situation. There were changes in the law in April 2013 which altered the way solicitors were paid using no win no fee but the CFAs which we offer are fully compliant with these new rules.