An Explanation of “No Win No Fee” Injury Compensation
If you have sustained an injury, a loss of a loved one or the deterioration of an existing condition in an accident for which you were not primarily to blame, you may be entitled to claim injury compensation under conditional fee agreements or, as they are more commonly referred to, “No Win, No Fee” injury compensation claims.
This site is about general personal injuries. Click here for information about medical negligence in the UK.
“No Win, No Fee” claims for injury compensation were first introduced in 1995 for middle income people who had been injured through no fault of their own, yet were excluded from Legal Aid. As access to Legal Aid continued to be eroded by subsequent Governments, claims for “No Win, No Fee” injury compensation became established as the most popular way of recovering damages when getting injured due to the negligence of a third party.
Eligibility to Make Claims for “No Win, No Fee” Injury Compensation
In order to be eligible to claim “No Win, No Fee” compensation for an injury, you should have a fairly solid case already compiled. “No Win, No Fee” injury compensation solicitors usually only offer legal representation on a conditional fee basis if your claim for injury compensation is at least 75 percent likely to succeed. The potential for your claim´s success is usually discussed during your initial contact with a “No Win, No Fee” injury compensation solicitor.
Therefore, if you already have photographic evidence of the negligence which caused your injury, a list of people that potentially witnessed your injury or the admission of the party at fault that his or her lack of care was the cause of your injury, you should be eligible to make claims “No Win, No Fee” injury compensation. If you do not yet have this information, you should discuss your eligibility to make “No Win, No Fee” compensation for an injury with a solicitor at the earliest possible opportunity.
Your Potential Liability if you Lose Your Injury Claim
Claims for “No Win, No Fee” injury compensation are not necessarily free of charge should you lose your claim: for although a solicitor will forgo their legal fees if they fail to win “No Fee, No Fee” injury compensation claim, you may still be liable for any expenses the solicitor has incurred in the preparation of your claim along with the negligent party´s own legal expenses.
In order to eliminate the risk of a potential liability should you lose your “No Win, No Fee” compensation for an injury claim, your solicitor will recommend that you take out an “After the Event” insurance policy. The conditions of this policy allow you to delay the cost of the policy until such time as the resolution of your claim — at which time the negligent party´s insurers will pay for the policy if your case is won, or the policy will pay for itself if your “No Win, No Fee” injury compensation claim is lost.
After the Event insurance is usually recommended ahead of any existing legal expenses insurance you may have connected to a car insurance or home contents insurance policy — or provided as a benefit by credit card companies or motoring organisations — as limits often apply to these policies which could result in the insurance company failing to pay out sufficient funds to cover your liabilities at the conclusion of a “No Win, No Fee” injury compensation claim.
Your Potential Liability if you Win Your Injury Claim
An “After the Event” insurance policy can also eliminate your potential financial liability when claims for “No Win, No Fee” injury compensation are won. Although it is usually the negligent party´s insurers who would be liable for costs when you win your “No Win, No Fee” injury compensation claim, should your solicitor´s legal fees, disbursements and their success fee total more than is considered acceptable by a court, you would be personally liable for any deficit — unless you have taken out After the Event insurance or have sufficient legal expenses insurance from an alternative source.
You may also not receive the full amount of your injury compensation settlement if you have been receiving specific State benefits to cover medical expenses since your injury, help with mobility or replace lost income, as these have to be repaid to the Department for Work and Pensions´ Compensation Recovery Unit. Your solicitor will be able to provide a list of State benefits which have to be repaid before you receive your injury compensation settlement.
One further scenario in which you may not receive 100 percent of your injury compensation settlement following a successful “No Win, No Fee” injury compensation claim is if you decline an offer of settlement made prior to a court hearing which is of greater value than eventually awarded by the court. In this scenario, you will be responsible for your own court costs, plus the negligent party´s legal fees since the expiry of the previous offer.
“No Win, No Fee” Injury Compensation Solicitors
Each claim for “No Win, No Fee” injury compensation is accepted or declined on its own merit: and a “No Win, No Fee” injury compensation solicitor will explain the terms and conditions of the conditional fee agreement to you before you are formally offered “No Win, No Fee” legal representation. Please note that although a solicitor offers “No Win, No Fee” legal representation, it is not a guarantee that your claim will be successful.
Likewise, because a solicitor declines to represent clients in “No Win, No Fee” injury compensation claims, it is not always the case that the solicitor believes there is no chance of winning the claim. Other funding options may be more appropriate depending on your personal situation and the likely value of your “No Win, No Fee” injury compensation claim or other reasons may prevent your solicitor from accepting your injury compensation claim on a conditional fee agreement.
Proposed Changes to “No Win, No Fee” Injury Compensation
The Government intends to make changes to the way in which “No Win, No Fee” claims for injury compensation are managed in the forthcoming Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Bill 2012. Although precise information of how “No Win, No Fee” injury compensation claims will be affected is not yet known, it is in your best interests to speak with a “No Win, No Fee” injury compensation solicitor to ensure that the content published on this page is still current.
To help you obtain effective and up-to-date information about “No Win, No Fee” injury compensation claims, we have established a free Injury Compensation Service which you are invited to call on freephone our phone number if you have any questions about your eligibility to make claims for “No Win, No Fee” injury compensation or would like to know more about how to protect yourself against exposure to financial liability when making “No Win, No Fee” injury compensation claims.
Our telephone lines are open twenty four hours a day, seven days a week, and naturally any private information disclosed to our “No Win, No Fee” injury compensation solicitors is entirely confidential. Please note that you are not under any obligation to proceed with a claim for “No Win, No Fee” injury compensation once you have spoken with us and, if now is not a convenient time to give us a call, please make use of our call-back request forms to arrange for one of our specialist team to call you at a more suitable time.