Hiring a car accident lawyer to process your personal injury claim should not cost you anything up front, nor during the claims process. Personal injury claims are processed under a ‘conditional fee agreement’, better known as a ‘no win, no fee’ agreement.
Under such an agreement, the claimant should have access to legal representation at no initial or ongoing cost to themselves, unless otherwise specified in writing.
Instead of paying for any legal fees out of your own pocket, your lawyer will instead recover their fees by taking a percentage of your compensation as payment, or alternatively, your lawyer may recover their costs from the other side. If the former option is agreed, then your lawyer can take no more than 25 per cent of the claim’s value as payment. If the latter option is agreed, then the claimant will get to keep 100 per cent of their compensation.
However, while ‘no win, no fee’ agreements stipulate that should a lawyer lose their case then the claimant should have none of their lawyer’s fees to pay, the claimant can still be billed by other side for their costs. To minimise the potential financial implications of this, it is common practice for conditional fee agreements to sell on ‘after the event’ insurance, and for law firms to require their clients to take this on as a condition for the claim to proceed, to protect themselves and you.
‘No win, no fee’ in greater detail
‘No win, no fee’ was introduced with the Courts and Legal Services Act 1990, and it was implemented into courts in England and Wales in 1995. This type of agreement was created to level the legal playing field, so that everybody could get access to legal representation, no matter their financial capability. Today, ‘no win, no fee’ is the default solicitor-client contract used in cases of personal injury law.
As previously mentioned, UK claim lawyer’s car accidentsdo not charge any fees upfront nor during the claims process under such an agreement. This means you can access sound legal advice at no cost to yourself. Prior to ‘no win, no fee’ agreements, people had to pay for their legal representation up front or monthly, with no contingency plan should they lose their cases. ‘No win, no fee’ agreements protect the claimant should their claim lose, and they also provide a more palatable way for lawyers to recover their costs.
To find out more about conditional fee agreements, you should talk to a lawyer. A lawyer will be able to go into greater detail about these agreements with you, so that you can decide whether such an agreement is right for you. The alternative to a conditional fee agreement is to pay your legal fees up front, or in instalments over the period of your claim.