No Win No Fee Claims
No Win No Fee Claims for Car Injury Compensation
No Win No Fee claims are those which are accepted by a solicitor on what is called a "conditional fee arrangement". The condition in this case, is that you will only be liable for your solicitors legal costs should he be successful in winning your case. In the event that the claim is won by the defence, you will not be liable to pay for your own legal costs.
No Win No Fee claims are vital for many UK car accident victims, as pursuing legal action can be expensive. Injuries sustained in a car accident can involve massive costs, and having the additional financial pressure from pursuing legal action is something which many people can ill afford.
When you have been injured by a third party and were not to blame for the accident, you should not have to commit funds to pursuing compensation. It is your legal right to claim, yet many people are discouraged from doing so simply for financial reasons, and No Win No Fee claims can make obtaining compensation possible when limited funds are available.
Eligibility to Make No Win No Fee Claims
In order to make a claim for compensation, you must have suffered an injury which was caused by third party negligence. If you were not primarily to blame for an accident occurring, you should be eligible to claim compensation for your injuries. However not all compensation claims can be taken on a No Win No Fee basis, and solicitors will generally only take on the strongest cases.
Since a solicitor will not be able to charge any legal fees in the event that a claim is unsuccessful, you will find that only strong cases for compensation can be pursued on this basis. The good news is that if you have been told that your claim qualifies for No Win No fee representation, the chances of success are generally good. After all, solicitors do not like to work for nothing, and will only agree on a conditional fee arrangement if they believe they have a very good chance of winning a claim. It is for this reason that most No Win No Fee claims are successful.
What Do Solicitors Charge For No Win No Fee Claims
It is not possible to provide a figure for what No Win No Fee claims will cost, as No Win No Fee solicitors will enter into an agreement with a claimant on an individual basis after discussing all the elements of the case. When No Win No Fee claims are successful you will also not be liable to pay your solicitors fees, as under UK law the losing party is liable for all legal costs, and these will be paid by the defendant´s insurance company.
In addition to your legal fees your solicitor will charge a success fee, which is also covered by the defence. However should the total of the solicitor´s legal fees, the costs incurred in pursuing your claim and this success fee be deemed excessive, a judge may cap the amount that the defence has to pay and the claimant will be required to make up any shortfall. Success fees can be equal to the amount of the solicitor´s standard legal fees, and some solicitors will charge up to 100% above their standard legal fees. This is perfectly acceptable under UK claims regulations, although most solicitors will limit their success fee to 30% more than their standard fee arrangements.
No Win No Fee Claims and Liability for Legal Costs
As previously mentioned, under UK claims laws the defence is liable for your legal costs if you win your claim. However should your claim be unsuccessful the reverse applies, and the claimant will be liable for the defence's legal costs. Television adverts for No Win No Fee claims suggest that in the event of an unsuccessful claim you will not have to pay a penny in legal costs. Under a conditional fee arrangement, this is true and you may not have to pay your solicitor anything; however you will be liable to pay the defence's legal bill. Since unsuccessful cases are usually are decided by the UK courts, the court fees will also be added to your legal bill. This can come as a nasty surprise for any claimant who has failed to understand their liability for costs.
Other Costs Associated with No Win No Fee Claims
It is not only third party legal costs for which you will be liable, as No Win No Fee claims often involve other charges. During the course of a claim there may be expenses, such as obtaining expert opinions to back up your case. Costs associated with a claim are called disbursements, and a claimant will usually be liable to pay these in No Win No Fee claims. When a case is successful these costs will not come out of your compensation settlement, but will be added to your solicitor´s legal fees and will be paid by the defence.
With No Win No Fee claims, your solicitor will usually pay these disbursements, so you will not be liable to cover these until the resolution of your claim. Some No Win No Fee claims may not require any disbursements to be paid, but it is important to check with your solicitor whether you are liable for these expenses should your claim be unsuccessful, and they should be able to give you an idea of what these are likely to be.
Can No Win No Fee Claims Be Totally Cost Free
Although disbursements and the legal costs of the defence are unavoidable, it does not mean that you will have to pay these costs personally if your case is unsuccessful. Many insurance policies make provision for third party legal costs, and an existing motor insurance policy may well cover these costs. Even a house contents insurance policy may provide sufficient cover, although this may depend on the specifics of your case.
In many cases your insurance policy will be adequate to cover third party legal costs, although you will be liable to make up for any shortfall. You should bear in mind that third party legal costs need to be kept to a reasonable level, and should this not be the case a judge is likely to cap these costs. This provision in insurance policies is often referred to as "before the event insurance".
In cases where cover is not provided by an existing policy, or when it is anticipated that legal costs are likely to be high, an additional insurance policy can be taken out to ensure that you have adequate cover. This is called “After the Event” Insurance, and it is usually recommended by solicitors in No Win No Fee claims. Should your case be successful, your insurance premiums will be added to your claim, so you will not be out of pocket for paying for the policy. A No Win No Fee claims solicitor will be able to advise you on whether you should take out after the event insurance, after studying the small print of any existing insurance policy.
Choosing a No Win No Fee Claims Solicitor
If you have already started legal proceedings, you should be able to select any No Win No Fee claims solicitor you want. It is always beneficial in UK car injury compensation claims to select a solicitor with expertise in this particular field. It will usually improve your chances of success, and also of obtaining your full entitlement to compensation.
If you have yet to start a legal claim for compensation, your car or household contents insurance company may instruct you to use one of their chosen solicitors if you are seeking to claim for potential legal costs against an existing policy, or may even reject your choice of No Win No Fee solicitor. In such cases your preferred solicitor may still be able to work a No Win No Fee claim, and it could still be in your best interests to have them working on your behalf.
Starting No Win No Fee Claims
In order to initiate No Win No Fee Claims, there are a number of legal formalities which must be completed. Legal documents and letters need to be drafted, court dates need to be booked and paid for in advance, and the defendant needs to be notified of an impending claim and given the chance to mount a defence. Your solicitor should instruct you of these procedures, and keep you informed of any developments as the case progresses.
The first step in any claim for personal injury compensation is to seek legal advice on your eligibility to claim. Our panel of UK car accident injury solicitors are available to take your call and answer any questions you may have. You will be provided with free impartial advice, and they will explain all aspects for making No Win No Fee claims.
If you have been injured in a car accident which was not entirely your fault, we would like to have the opportunity of speaking to you about your case. Call us today on our free claims hotline, or request a call back from one of our No Win No Fee claims solicitors and take the first step towards claiming compensation for your injuries.