I run most of my cases on a “no win no fee” basis.
I would like to explain this system in detail.
While the claim is in progress
During the time your compensation claim is running, you pay nothing in advance for the following:
- Any initial legal advice
- The solicitor’s time generally
- Hospital fees regarding medical records
- Interpreters fees (if required)
- Medical expert fees
- Court fees.
At the end of the claim
At the conclusion, the following normally applies:
- The opposing insurers will pay your compensation
- The opposing insurers will pay most of the legal costs
- You pay a “success fee”
- You pay any costs that the other side will not pay
- The amount you pay is limited to 25% including VAT
- So to give an example, if your compensation is £1,000, then you are guaranteed to receive at least £750.
Reasons for the success fee
Realistically, not every claim succeeds.
Insurers sometimes use the following tactics to avoid paying compensation, or to reduce the amount they will pay:
- Denying that you were ever employed
- Blaming somebody else for the accident
- Denying that your accident ever happened
- Saying that your injuries are exaggerated
- Alleging that you caused your own accident
- Alleging that your injuries were pre-existing
- Alleging that your accident was unforeseeable
- Trying to make you sign an admission of guilt
- Alleging that your accident never caused your injuries
- Looking in the medical records for outside explanations for the injury.
As result, many personal injury claims are abandoned.
Running a compensation claim involves a substantial investment of time by the solicitor, with no guarantee of success.
The success fee rewards the solicitor for taking that risk.
During your claim, you have certain responsibilities:
- Not to act obstructively
- Not to delay answering letters
- Not to delay answering telephone calls
- Not to give misleading instructions
- Not to exaggerate your claim in any respect
- Not to do anything generally to compromise the independence of the solicitor
- Not to do anything to reduce the trust of the public in the legal profession.
It is quite rare for any of the above difficulties to arise.
But if they do, then you may have to pay additional costs.
Finally, you may have to pay additional costs if you fail to beat an offer made by the other side, having previously ignored legal advice to accept that offer.