Personal Injury Claims
No Win No Fee is an increasingly common way to make a personal injury compensation accident claim. This is because the backing of a specialist solicitor can greatly affect the amount of compensation paid out, and because your case is taken on a No Win No Fee basis, it is virtually risk-free to pursue.
Also known as a conditional fee agreement, No Win No Fee is exactly what it sounds like. It is a way for solicitors to process compensation accident claims in a way that will not put clients at risk of being out of pocket, especially those who have already suffered financial loss as the result of a personal injury.
However, No Win No Fee does not mean you will not have to pay anything. You will typically need to pay court fees, as well as a one-off insurance premium to cover any costs should your case be unsuccessful, although these costs can usually be recovered from the other side if your case succeeds.
Under a No Win No Fee agreement, you only need to pay the fees of your solicitor if your case is successful. These fees are broken down into two parts:
- Basic fee: This is what you would normally pay
- Success fee: This is a percentage increase on the basic fee, and it is calculated based on how likely your case is to win
Why Should I Make an Accident Claim on a No Win No Fee Basis?
No Win No Fee can be argued to improve access to justice for those who would otherwise suffer in silence. With no upfront costs, people of limited financial means are now able to make an accident claim. This is important because many claims will focus around a loss of earnings as a result of an accident.
It also saves government funds in the form of Legal Aid, as any solicitor’s costs can be recovered from the other side. Legal Aid is also means tested using a very strict procedure, excluding many who did not qualify, yet could not afford legal representation.
There are several other advantages to pursuing an accident claim on a No Win No Fee basis:
- If your accident claim is eventually unsuccessful, you will not be required to pay any solicitor’s fees
- If a solicitor agrees to take on your case, this will usually mean they are confident it will succeed
- Any legal fees can be recovered from the other side if your accident claim is successful, meaning you will receive 100% of the compensation amount
- The opposing party may be willing to settle for a compensation amount as they realise you stand a good chance of a successful accident claim
Unfortunately, there are also some unavoidable disadvantages, predominantly that:
- There is a legal requirement to disclose to the court the No Win No Fee basis of your accident claim, as well as an estimation of the success of your accident claim. This could potentially reveal flaws in your case
- Your solicitor may wish to pursue a course of action that seems undesirable in order to win the case
- Because of the level of risk involved for a solicitor pursuing a case like this, many will not take on your accident claim unless it is an almost assured victory
- You could be liable to pay expenses to the opposing side if you do not purchase adequate insurance