No Win - No Fee Personal Injury Claims
‘No win-no fee’ is the popular term for solicitors’ conditional fee agreements. The law has changed for ‘no win-no fee’ funding of personal injury claims. However, Brachers solicitors still offer a genuine ‘no win-no fee’ service for personal injury claims and normally pay the claims expenses for you.
For personal injury claims under a ‘no win-no fee’ agreement with Brachers solicitors, provided you comply with your responsibilities, you will never have to pay a penny out of your own pocket for our legal costs. In the event a contribution for costs is required from you this will be deducted from your compensation at the end of the claim. Any contribution would be capped to guarantee you keep most of your compensation whatever happens. You therefore have nothing to lose in making a claim with a Brachers solicitor’s ‘no-win no fee’ agreement.
What does ‘no win-no fee’ mean for personal injury claims?
We advise what ‘no win-no fee’ means for you under Brachers’ solicitors agreements; first if you lose your case and then if you win.
What does ‘no win-no fee’ mean if I lose?
‘No win no fee’ and our solicitors’ costs
‘No win-no fee’ means just what it says when it comes to our solicitors’ costs. Provided you comply with your responsibilities you pay nothing for our solicitors’ costs if you lose your claim.
It’s ‘no-win no fee’ for our solicitors’ costs, but what about other claims expenses?
There are other costs in making a personal injury claim on top of solicitors services; expenses like medical reports and court fees. ‘No win-no fee’ does not cover these expenses.
However, insurance can cover them. You may have such insurance already (e.g. as part of your household insurance) or if not we can arrange no win no fee insurance for you to cover your liability for expenses if you lose. Some ‘no win-no fee’ solicitors will make you pay for claims expenses upfront.
Brachers solicitors ’no win-no fee’ agreements guarantee that we will pay the expenses for you as the case goes along provided insurance is in place.
Some ‘no win-no fee’ solicitors will make you pay for claims expenses upfront. With a Brachers’ ‘no win-no fee’ agreements normally we will pay all the expenses for you as the case goes along provided insurance is in place. However, exceptionally, if disbursements reach several thousands we may ask you for a contribution, but only if you have the means to pay this, eg where an interim payment is obtained. This is only likely to happen in high value cases involving multiple medical experts or where court proceedings have been issued.
It’s ‘no win-no fee’ for our solicitors’ costs, but what about the cost of insurance?
If we need to take out ‘no win-no fee’ insurance the premium for that insurance also works on a ‘no win-no fee’ – the insurance premium is just written off if you lose.
It’s ‘no win-no fee’ for our solicitors’ costs, but what about the defendant’s costs?
‘No win-no fee’ for solicitors’ costs does not cover the defendants costs. However, due to a change in the law on ‘no win-no fee’ cases, normally personal injury claimants no longer have to pay anything for the defendant’s costs if they lose.
There are still certain situations, for example, where the defendant made an offer to settle which you rejected but failed to beat. The court could then take away part or all of your compensation to pay the defendant’s costs. These situations should be covered by insurance. The one situation that is not covered by ‘no win-no fee’ insurance is if a claim were found to be fundamentally dishonest. Obviously we would discourage any dishonest claims.
What does ‘no win-no fee’ mean if I win?
The flipside to ‘no win- no fee’ is that if you win there are certain costs to be paid out of your compensation, but these are limited and capped by Brachers solicitors to ensure you keep most of your compensation.
‘No win-no fee’ – the success fee
We charge success fees in ‘no win-no fee’ cases to compensate us for the risk of not getting paid if claims are lost or where clients fail to beat a defendant’s offer. This fee is calculated as a percentage uplift on the basic solicitors’ charges for our time. The percentage uplift in ‘no win-no fee’ cases is assessed taking into account the risks in your case at the time we took it on.
We also charge 10% in ‘no win-no fee’ cases to help make up for Brachers solicitors not getting paid until the case finishes. The success fee in no win no fee cases used to be recoverable from the defendant. Unfortunately due to a change in the law it is no longer (except for mesothelioma claims, where therefore we make no deduction from compensation).
However, by law the success fee in ‘no win- no fee’ cases charged by solicitors is capped and limited to no more than 25% of your compensation for your injuries and past losses.
‘No win-no fee’ – shortfall in solicitors’ costs
If you win a ‘no win-no fee’ case, we can recover a contribution to our basic solicitors’ costs from the defendant. The actual solicitors’ costs are usually significantly less than the solicitors’ costs that can be recovered. Some solicitors firms will always charge clients for that shortfall.
At Brachers solicitors in larger ‘no win no fee’ cases and certain other cases we agree to cap our charges to you, so that any charges for shortfall and success fee combined are limited to a maximum of 25% of your total compensation, provided you comply with your responsibilities. Also in these cases if you have legal expenses insurance we will usually match any terms offered by your legal expenses insurer. This may sometimes mean no deduction at all.
In smaller no win no fee cases settled for under £25,000 due to a change in the law the basic solicitors costs we can recover are now usually fixed. This is often at a very low amount far below the actual solicitors’ costs. Where recoverable solicitors costs are fixed like this if there is a difference between our actual solicitors costs and the fixed recoverable costs, we will usually charge something for the shortfall.
Where recoverable solicitors costs are fixed like this if there is a difference between our actual solicitors costs and the fixed recoverable costs, we will usually charge something for the shortfall. However, our no win no fee agreements limit what we charge for shortfall. In these cases we agree that whatever we deduct- whether it’s for shortfall, success fee or anything else- we limit what we charge for success fees and shortfall combined to no more than 33% of your compensation.
However, under our no win no fee agreements we agree to limit what we charge for shortfall in our solicitors’ costs. In smaller cases we agree that whatever we deduct- whether it’s for shortfall, success fee or anything else- you will keep the majority of your compensation. Under our no-win no fee agreement we agreed to limit what we charge for success fees and shortfall combined to no more than 33% of your compensation.
‘No win-no fee’ – the cost of insurance
If you already have insurance for the claim we do not need to buy this. If not we can arrange no win no fee insurance for you.
The premium is only payable at the end of the case, as a deduction from your compensation. The premium varies depending on the size and type of claim, from about £80 for a small road traffic claim to about £1600 for a large public liability claim.
However, for some industrial disease claims it can be a little higher. These no win no fee insurance premiums used to be recoverable from the defendants but sadly due to a change in the law they are no longer (except in mesothelioma claims).
In both larger and smaller no win no fee cases even after deduction of success fee and insurance you would still keep the large majority of your compensation.
‘No win-no fee’ – are the deductions fair?
We think they are unfair and we lobbied hard against the changes. However, they are the result of a deliberate change of government policy with no win no fee claims; to make claimants contribute to the cost of making claims through their compensation. To help make up for this the courts have increased compensation for injuries by 10%, but in most no win no fee cases this does not make up for the deductions.
What personal injury claims can we take on a ‘no win-no fee’?
Pretty much any type of personal injury claim; from simple fractures to serious head and psychaitric injuries, spinal injuries and industrial diseases.
The main conditions are that we think there is a reasonable chance of your claim succeeding and (in fixed fee cases) being worth £10,000 or more.
‘No win-no fee’ - what do we guarantee?
If we take your case on a ‘no win-no fee’ provided you comply with your responsibilities, Brachers solicitors guarantee:
- we will not charge you a penny for our service if you lose;
- we will normally pay all your claims expenses as the case goes along;
- we will cap any charges if you win; and
- we will provide you with a first class service.
‘No win - no fee’ - what are my responsibilities?
In return we just ask clients to be fair and honest with us. Under the agreement your responsibilities are not onerous.
- give us instructions to allow us to work for you properly until your case concludes;
- not ask us to work in an improper or and reasonable way;
- not deliberately mislead us;
- cooperate with us; and
- go to any necessary expert appointment or court hearing.
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