Also referred to as a conditional fee arrangement, a no win no fee agreement is a settlement between a personal injury legal practitioner and a client following a civil case. In this deal, if the case being pursued is unsuccessful, the client is not expected to pay any legal fees. In particular, the client does not incur the contingency costs for the services received from their lawyer.
This implies that the client will only pay if the civil claim being pursued is successful. Such a payment is usually a portion of the compensation granted to the client. The lawyer receives it as pay for their professionalism and time spent while working on the case. However, the no win no fee agreement does not apply to all types of claims.
Most of the cases that can be undertaken under the no win no fee arrangements have a time limit of up to 3 years. Within this period, if you believe that you deserve compensation with regards to accident or personal injury, you should go for it. Be sure to consult a credible no-win-no-fee solicitor for professional legal advice and for better chances to have a successful compensation claim.
Claims Allowable for the No win No Fee Agreement
As a client, in the first appointment that you have with your legal practitioner, they will find out whether you have a valid case to pursue under the no win no fee arrangement. The major areas where these arrangements are made include:
- Personal accidents whereby you have an accident at work or when assaulted in public
- Clinical carelessness leading to surgical mistakes or wrong diagnoses
- Employment-related claims regarding prejudice, unfair treatment, or unjustifiable dismissal
If you present any of the above claims to your lawyer, they will carry out a thorough assessment based on the information that you provide. Once this is done, the solicitor is in a better position to guide you further on the steps to take as well as letting you know whether you have promising odds of having a rewarding claim.
How the No Win No Fee Arrangement Operates
The first step involves your solicitor taking out an insurance policy on your behalf. In the course of pursuing your case, you will not encounter any kind of concealed charges. The purpose of the policy is to cater to all costs that will be incurred in the course of the claim. These are the costs that relate to:
- Legal dues
- Court charges
- Medical records
The insurance policy ensures that you are under no obligation expected to make any upfront payment. In addition to this, it shields you from incurring any costs in the situation where your claim is unsuccessful. It is made clear that payment will only be received from you when your claim succeeds. On top of this, your opposition caters to the largest share of your legal charges.
If You Lose Your Case, What Follows?
For the client, this is quite unfortunate since we all want to emerge victors in every contest that we are engaged in. However, on the brighter side, you do not pay a dime if your claim is unsuccessful. Your opposition’s legal chargers are catered for by your insurance policy. Even so, neglecting your case or pursuing a deceitful case makes you responsible to pay some fee.
If You Win Your Case, What Follows?
Damages are accorded to you when your claim is successful. The objective of these damages is to help your recover from the injuries suffered. Another aim of these damages is to compensate you for any financial losses experienced.
In most instances, the insurance company of the opponent is accountable for making these payments. Upon receipt of this compensation, a proportion of it is taken out and awarded to your solicitor. This acts as payment for the legal services they have been rendering to you.
Fee Calculation for a Successful Claim
The standard rate is usually a deduction of 25% of the total compensation received. A legal practitioner may however agree to take a lower percentage than this typical one. In such a case, you should be keen to ensure that there are no hidden charges that may be used to make up for the less proportion that the solicitor has agreed to accept.
Just like any other legal agreement, it is wise to carefully go through the contract and fully understand what the terms are and what impact they have on you. Upon satisfaction that you fully understand the terms and consequences, then you can sign and bind yourself to the legal arrangement.
Advantages of a No Win No Fee Agreement
- There is no requirement to make any upfront legal cost payment
- Since your legal practitioner desires to make money by being paid, they will work very hard to see your case succeeding
- Choosing the right solicitor enhances your odds of emerging victorious in a personal injury case. It is almost a guarantee that you will win
Disadvantages of a No Win No Fee Agreement
- Upon commencement of the legal procedures and you decide to neglect your claim, you will be liable to pay some fee
- If your claim is false, you are answerable and can be punished through the imposition of a fee
- In a situation when your claim does not succeed, the defendant may demand compensation of their legal practitioner’s fee from you