Personal Injury, No Win No Fee?
Published: 29 October 2012
By MoneyHighStreet Staff Leave a Comment
Updated: 29 October 2012
Here at MoneyHighStreet we often get approached to review or comment on personal finance matters. When we feel the product or service fits well with our readers we are very happy to do so. We take a look now at Claims Direct, who can put you in touch with No Win, No Fee solicitors if you have had a personal injury.
A No Win, No Fee arrangement with Claims Direct means that you get to keep 100% of your compensation if you win – your solicitors fees will be recovered from the opposing side on top of any compensation you are awarded.
Examples of instances where you might be eligible to make a personal injury claim include:
- A road traffic accident which causes whiplash, bruising or a more serious injury
- An accident at work caused by unsuitable equipment, poor health and safety or a dangerous working practice
- Medical negligence resulting from poor health care or lack of judgement
- An illness suffered as a result of coming into contact with asbestos
- An injury caused by tripping or slipping on an unrepaired paving stone
- Pain caused by a faulty product which a manufacturer failed to ensure complied with safety standards
- Food poisoning caused by under-cooked food in a restaurant.
No Win, No Fee claims can help anyone who has had an accident that wasn’t their fault.
They are designed to ensure you receive the compensation and treatment, such as physiotherapy, that you might need and are entitled to. A personal injury claim can also help others; for instance by making a workplace safer.
Take a look at this light-hearted video, following the story of Loretta (with her rather catchy band) has a strong underlying message of how you may be helped.
If it’s not a serious injury, you may be able to solve the issue by writing a letter or making a complaint – use the complaints procedure if there is one.
Explain what went wrong and tell them how much compensation you want or how they can make up for the injury.
You may want to use a mediation service to negotiate a settlement. There is usually a fee, but it can be cheaper, quicker and easier than going to court.
You may already have insurance to pay for legal costs.
- check your insurance policies (like motor, home contents or holiday insurance policies) to see if they include ‘legal expenses insurance’
- check if you have legal cover as a member of a trade union, or an organisation like the RAC or the AA.
How can a claims company help?
You can’t usually get legal aid for personal injury cases but claims companies can help you find a solicitor.
Most claims handlers aren’t solicitors, and so won’t be able to represent you in court. That said many personal injury cases are settled without having to go to court.
If you use a ‘no win, no fee’ agreement, such as that offered by Claims Direct, if you win, your solicitor is paid by the defendant’s insurance so you keep 100% of your compensation.
You may still have to pay for some other costs, like:
- fees to pay for experts
- court fees
- travelling expenses
If you lose, you will also have to pay for:
- the other side’s legal costs
- other expenses and charges, such as fees for witnesses.
So there are costs involved and of course you need to understand the chances of being successful with your claim to help you decide whether or not to pursue it. This is where the claims company solicitors can help you realistically assess your case.
Be aware that whilst some claims can be settled in weeks, some can take longer – it depends on the circumstances involved.
Government Changes to No Win No Fee rules
At the present time you are be able to pursue a personal injury claim under a No Win No Fee arrangement and recover all of your compensation.
After April 2013 if a Solicitor agrees to pursue your claim it is likely that they will require you to sign an Agreement which will enable them to take up to 25% of your damages (compensation award) in part payment of their Legal Fees.
The reason being is that the Government are introducing Legislation to prevent claims being conducted under “No Win No Fee” Agreements backed by Insurance Policies paid for by Defendants (those responsible for your injuries). They will therefore be seeking their payment from you.
So, if you think you might want to make a personal injury claim, doing so before April 2013 may be the better option for you.
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