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No Win No Fee Legal Compensation Claims
In the UK you can make a no win no fee legal agreement with a solicitor to pursue a personal injury compensation case without having to pay out the high fees that lawyers will charge.
Legal aid is unlikely to be available for anyone claiming compensation after an accident at work or on the roads. Similarly any other type of personal injury compensation claim is highly unlikely to qualify for legal aid.
Because of this claimants would have to pay legal costs in advance and would run the risk of losing that money if the claim was lost in court. To avoid this scenario most solicitors now offer to take personal injury cases on a conditional fee basis.
Conditional Fee Agreements
More widely known as no win no fee legal agreements they basically mean that should you lose your case than you will not have to pay any solicitors costs. If the case is won, then you will have to pay your solicitors fees. In reality however, those costs are usually claimed back from the other side.
Costs and Expenses
Even with a no win no fee legal agreement there will be some expenses.
Before the case begins your solicitor may ask you to take out an ‘after the event’ insurance policy. This policy insures you against having to pay the oppositions costs should you lose the case.
This type of insurance isn’t compulsory but you should certainly ask your solicitors advice on the benefits of taking out such a policy.
Despite the premise of not having legal fees, there may still be other expenses that you will have to pay.
For example, in a personal injury compensation claim, the complainant will almost certainly have to pay for medical and accident reports, court fees and possibly expert witness fees. These costs can become very significant and are not covered by the conditional fee agreement.
Always confirm with your solicitor, before signing any contracts, the expenses and fees that you will be liable for together with an estimated cost. Make sure that you check the terms of the contract very carefully as you may also be liable to pay fees if the case is dropped or if you refuse a settlement offer.
The bottom line is to always read the small print!
No Win No Fee Legal Fees
If the case is lost than you will not be liable for any solicitors’ fees. If the case is won, then you will pay your solicitor a success fee.
This fee is usually recovered from the losing side but the court can sometimes decide that the other side should not be liable for the full cost of your solicitors’ fees. In this event you will have to make up the shortfall yourself from your compensation award.
Before entering into any agreement with a solicitor ask them to confirm the success fee. Compare the fee with the amount of compensation you believe you are entitled to. If the fees seem to be too high, then you may wish to try another solicitor.
Not all solicitors charge the same fees or offer the same service so it is usually worth your while to shop around to find the best terms.
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