No Win No Fee Solicitor
When you have been injured in an accident or incident for which you are not entirely to blame, “no win, no fee” claim solicitors may sound like the most viable option for pursuing compensation without having to pay for solicitors’ fees.
Even so, while “no win, no fee” claim solicitors are a good option for many people, it is worth taking the time to learn what to expect in the event of either winning or losing no win, no fee claims.
The Background of No Win, No Fee Claim Solicitors
First introduced into UK legislation in 1995 to replace the former legal aid system, no win, no fee claims removed the need for those affected by negligence to have their injury assessed by a government regulator to establish a basis for an injury claim to be made. Instead, the no win, no fee claim solicitors’ system have put independent legal firms such as ours in the role of evaluators, so that in effect, solicitors now establish the strength of a case, and subsequently, if it is worth pursuing – i.e. if it is likely to win, as well as the costs involved in attaining a satisfactory resolution.
Winning No Win, No Fee Claims
With no win, no fee claims, you do not owe your solicitor’s fee unless you win your case – and even this fee is typically retrieved directly from the negligent party- entitling you to the full amount of compensation for your injury settlement.
However, your chosen solicitor may also charge a “success fee” in the event of winning no win, no fee claims; this is typically a percentage fee on top of the solicitor’s basic legal fee. Even though this fee is also recoverable from the losing party, in some cases you could be liable for any so-called ‘shortfall’ – i.e. according to law, the losing party is only liable for costs up to an amount that is considered reasonable by the courts. If a solicitor’s fees are considered ‘unreasonably’ high, you may need to pay the difference. Because of this, it is in your best interests to discuss this matter with any solicitor you are considering engaging with in the pursuit of no win, no fee injury claims.
Losing No Win, No Fee Claims
While losing no win, no fee claims will not present you with a financial burden toward your solicitor, you may still be liable for the legal costs of the defending party. To protect you against this potentially substantial financial risk, your solicitor will likely recommend you to take out insurance against loss – a cost that can also be retrieved from the defending party if you win your claim. You may, however, already be covered in the event of losing no win, no fee injury claims with existing insurance, such as car or household insurance.
While you may not need to pay solicitors’ fees should you lose no win, no fee claims, you may still be responsible for the procedural costs associated with pursuing your claim, i.e. for the likes of filing a claim in court or obtaining medical records. These expenses are known as disbursements, and are retrievable from the other party if you win your case. The cost of disbursements may also be covered with either existing or newly taken out insurance that protect you against the potential costs of losing no win, no fee claims.
When considering no win, no fee claims, it is highly recommended to have your individual situation assessed by an experienced solicitor to help determine all matters concerning making an injury claim. To receive helpful advice from an experienced solicitor, we encourage you to call our freephone claims advice service. Any of the solicitors will be more than happy to discuss all the particulars of making no win, no fee claims in England and Wales, and relate them to your situation. Furthermore, you will receive impartial advice without obligation on you to make a claim.
Compensation with No Win, No Fee Claims
There is no difference in the amount of compensation you may be entitled to receive regardless of the route you choose when pursuing an injury claim. No win, no fee claims entitle you to receive the same amount of compensation as someone pursuing any alternative option for making a personal injury compensation claim.
Compensation awards for all claims are made on the basis of pain and suffering (physical and/or psychological) which was caused by the injury, financial losses (current and in the foreseeable future) and the degree of negligence attributed to the defending party. Furthermore, you may be eligible to receive compensation for “loss of amenity” which addresses a decline in your quality of life as a result of the injury, which again is viewed against the amount of negligence attributable to the defending party for the injury in question.
Making No Win, No Fee Claims
The process of making no win, no fee claims commences when your solicitor sends a claim letter to the defendant’s insurance policy provider, who now acts as the defendant of the party accused of negligence. The letter details the circumstances involving your injury and their liability, as well as the compensation that is being sought. After this time, the defending party has three months to reply with another letter stating whether or not they accept liability for the injury, and respond to your solicitor’s assessment of damages owed to you. In many case, an offer to settle will be made at this time, in what is known as a ‘Part 36’ offer. If you receive this, your solicitor will then consult with you about whether to accept the amount offered as settlement.
While most no win, no fee claims are settled out of court, it is not always the case that the respective parties arrive at an agreement – either because the amount offered is not acceptable to the claimant (you), or the defendant does not accept liability to begin with. In such cases, no win, no fee claims are taken to court; it this happened in your case, you would then receive a timetable for scheduled court hearings.
Statute of Limitations for No Win, No Fee Injury Claims
If you are considering pursuing a claim for compensation, it is important to note that there is a time restriction for making claims in England and Wales, whether or not they are no win, no fee claims – that is, claims must be entered into court or otherwise settled within 3 years from the ‘date of knowledge’ of an injury or loss. For this and other reasons, you are advised to speak to a solicitor as soon as possible.
Contact a Solicitor to Fully Discuss No Win, No Fee Claims
Because of all the particulars mentioned above, you are invited to speak to one of our experienced solicitors at your earliest convenience to discuss whether no win, no fee claims are the ideal option for making a claim in your situation. This can be achieved without obligation on your part to proceed with a claim by calling our freephone claims advice service. We look forward to guiding you through the process of making an injury claim, so that you can concentrate on your health and wellbeing.