What is No Win No Fee?
Do You Know What is No Win No Fee Representation?
If you have been injured in an accident which was not your fault and you have suffered whiplash injuries, it is only fair that you claim compensation for your losses, pain and suffering. Whiplash can leave victims unable to work and in considerable pain, and whiplash can seriously affect your quality of life. However many people are put off making a claim for compensation due the cost of legal action, which can be considerable should the case end up in court or if the claim is unsuccessful.
Having to spend money when you have already suffered losses can be a bitter pill to take. Many people either decide not to claim compensation for their injuries, or consider pursuing compensation with a "No Win No Fee" solicitor or claims company. However many whiplash victims are unaware what is “No Win No Fee”, and what such a claim entails.
Does No Win No Fee representation mean that legal action to claim compensation will be totally free if you lose? What are the cost implications should you win your case? Exactly what is No Win No Fee Representation?
These are all questions commonly asked of our No Win No Fee solicitors. The answers to these questions can vary considerably from solicitor to solicitor, and many people get an unpleasant surprise of the actual cost of using a dedicated No Win No Fee claims company.
What is No Win No Fee?
Our solicitors are most commonly asked “What is No Win No Fee?”, and many accident victims are surprised that this does not mean free legal representation if the claim is lost. Many people consider taking legal action to claim compensation for whiplash in cases which are weak or even when there has been no third party negligence, in the belief that if it is totally free of charge in all eventualities. In all most all cases this is certainly not the case, in spite of what TV adverts may lead you to believe.
"No Win No Fee" means that a compensation claim is taken on by a solicitor and their fees are waived in the event that the compensation claim fails. In theory, this means that the solicitor in question should do everything they can in order to win the case, as a loss will mean that they have made no money.
You will find that many solicitors will only take on cases on a No Win No Fee basis if the case is strong and the chances of success are high for this very reason. Many claims companies will take on cases on a No Win No Fee basis even if the case is not particularly strong, and this can be very bad for the client, and can involve considerable costs to be paid.
Ask Your Solicitor What is No Win No Fee and About Your Liabilities
Any compensation claim taken on a No Win No Fee basis will mean that your solicitor’s fees will not be charged if you lose your case; however there are expenses associated with making a claim that the claimant will be liable for. Obtaining documentation and evidence to back up a claim may incur costs, and if a case is taken to court there will be court costs which need to be paid. These, and any other reasonable expenses during the claim, are called disbursements, and almost always, these disbursements will be the responsibility of the claimant in a No Win No Fee claim.
In the event that a compensation claim for whiplash fails, under UK law the claimant becomes responsible for the defence´s legal costs. No Win No Fee representation may mean that your own costs are not charged, but the costs of the defence can be considerable. Third party legal costs can amount to several thousand pounds.
In addition to standard legal fees, most No Win No Fee solicitors will also charge a "success fee" for winning a case. Success fees can vary considerably from solicitor to solicitor, and can be as much as a solicitor´s standard legal fee. In the UK it is possible for personal injury solicitors to charge a success fee that is 100% of their standard legal fees, although in practice the success fee will be limited to 30% more than standard legal charges. This must be checked before instructing a solicitor to initiate a claim for compensation on a “No Win, No Fee” basis so you are aware of your liabilities under all eventualities.
Before you decide to pursue compensation on a No Win No Fee basis, it is important to ask a No Win No Fee solicitor exactly what your liabilities are in the event of an unsuccessful claim, in addition to the fees which will be charged if your case is successful.
What is No Win No Fee Insurance?
Being liable for costs in a claim should not deter you from at least seeking legal advice about your case. In many cases it is possible to take out an insurance policy to cover third party legal fees and disbursements should your claim prove to be unsuccessful. Insurance policies such as this are called After the Event insurance policies, and are taken out to cover third party legal costs in the event that the case fails. If your claim is successful, your After the Event insurance will not pay out, and the success fee may be deducted from your compensation settlement. In the UK, the losing party is always liable for the costs of the successful party, so your solicitor´s legal costs will be covered by the defendant.
Many people do not need to take out After the Event insurance as the defences legal costs may be covered by an existing insurance policy, such as your motor insurance or even your home contents insurance. Each insurance policy will have its own terms and conditions so it is important to check your policy carefully, and have your appointed solicitor double check to find out what is covered under your specific circumstances.
If you take out After the Event insurance to top up your existing policy, or to cover loses if your insurance does not cover third party legal costs, your premium can be added to your special damages claim and will be paid by the defence if your case is successful.
Misleading No Win No Fee Advertising
There is no doubt that claims companies and some No Win No Fee Solicitors are aware that, for many people, "No Win No Fee" implies that there are no costs if the case is lost. They may infer that you can just enlist their services for nothing, sit back and wait for your claim to be settled. Many even appear to suggest that making a claim for compensation is easy, straightforward and worthwhile in all cases. This is a tactic to increase the number of telephone enquires they receive.
We believe that it is important to dispel the myth that claiming is easy and cost free, and inform our clients of their liabilities for costs - whether the case is successful or not. Only when a client is fully informed can they make the decision to pursue a legal claim for compensation. In some cases, the costs of legal action may mean that pursuing a compensation claim is not worthwhile, and in such cases we will advise our clients accordingly.
Not all cases can be taken on a No Win No Fee basis, and our solicitors will assess your case and advise you whether it is possible to take on a case on this basis, or whether an alternative method is more suitable for your circumstances.
Free Impartial Legal Advice on No Win No Fee Claims
If you have suffered from whiplash injuries in an accident which was not entirely your fault, and the accident was caused at least partly by third party negligence, you should be entitled to claim compensation and in many cases we can pursue compensation on a No Win No Fee basis.
We would like to have the opportunity of assessing your case and advising you on your eligibility to claim, together with an indication of your chances of success. We will also advise you on your liability for any costs and whether you qualify for No Win No Fee representation. We invite you to call our free claims hotline to speak directly with a personal injury solicitor to answer any questions you may have.
You would only pay for our services if you decide to pursue compensation with us, and you are under no obligation to either use our services or even pursue a compensation claim.
All enquires are strictly confidential and our advice is accurate and impartial. We understand the pain and suffering that you will have suffered from your whiplash injury, and will try to make pursuing a claim for compensation as easy as possible for you.