Are no win, no fee compensation claims a good idea?

Contributed by editor on Mar 13, 2019 - 11:35 PM


No win, no fee deals are the most common way of funding personal injury claims and medical negligence claims, offering a number of advantages. However, some people may worry that the idea of expert legal representation with no upfront cost is “too good to be true”.

So, are no win, no fee claims a good idea? Or should you look for another way to fund your claim?

How do no win, no fee compensation claims work?

A good personal injury lawyer should offer a free initial consultation to discuss your situation and make an assessment over whether you have strong grounds for a claim. They should then talk you through the claims process and how their fees work, allowing you to make an informed choice and starting a claim.

If you chose to go ahead, you will then sign a conditional fee agreement, specifying that the firm of solicitors agrees to represent you and that their fees will only be payable if they secure compensation for you.

With a conditional fee agreement, the legal fees with usually be based on a percentage of any damages won, whether through an out-of-court settlement or judgement in court. In many cases, your lawyers’ fees can be recovered from the defendant, meaning there will often be no cost to you even where your claim is successful.

What are the advantages of no win, no fee claims?

There are various things that make a no win, no fee claim attractive, including:

- No upfront cost to start a claim
- You are not risking your own money on a claim that might not succeed
- You can get the best available legal representation without worrying about whether you can afford the fees
- You can be confident your lawyers genuinely think you have a strong chance of success as they won’t get paid if your claim fails
- Your lawyers’ fees can often be recovered from the defendant

Are there any disadvantages to no win, no fee claims?

While no win, no fee claims work for most people, there are a few issues to be aware of so you know exactly what you are signing up for. These include:

- While your legal fees can sometimes be recovered from the defendant, this is not guaranteed, so the fees may need to come out of any damages you are awarded (however, this will be based on a pre-agreed percentage of the damages, so you should always be aware of the potential costs involved)
- If your claim is unsuccessful, there is the potential that you will be liable for some or all of the defendant’s legal fees (however, claimants should always be advised to take out ‘after the event insurance’ which will cover these costs if your claim fails)

What other options are there for funding a compensation claim?

Depending on the type of claim and the circumstances, there can sometimes be other options for funding a personal injury or medical negligence claim. Whether these other options are a better choice for you will depend on a number of factors.

Legal expenses insurance – If you have legal expenses insurance, this may cover some or all of the cost of pursuing a claim. However, the fees involved in pursuing a claim can be significant, especially for high value and complex claims, so it is important to be aware what the limit of your insurance cover is.

Trade union funding – If you have suffered a workplace injury and are a trade union member, you may be able to get funding from your trade union to pursue a claim. However, this is not always available and may limit the number of solicitors you can choose to represent you.

Legal aid – This is not available for most types of claims, but may be an option for some claims related to birth injuries. There are very strict criteria for legal aid-funded birth injury claims, so it is important to consult with a solicitor as soon as possible.

Start a no win, no fee compensation claim

At IBB Claims, we offer a free initial consultation for anyone considering making a personal injury or medical negligence compensation claim. We can review your case and offer an objective assessment of your claims merits, so you can get a clear picture of whether you have a strong claim and how much compensation we may be able to secure for you.

To find out more about our services, please visit [1] or get in touch by calling 0333 123 9099 or sending us an email [2].

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