If you ever suffer from a personal injury and you decide to find a lawyer to help you make a claim, you may hear about something called a ‘no win, no fee’ agreement. You may already be familiar with the name as it is often featured in advertisements on the TV. However, what does it actually mean? Here is a quick guide to some of the main issues surrounding no win, no fee agreements that you should know about before you decide to hire a lawyer.
No win, no fee arrangements are also known as Conditional Fee Agreements (CFAs). These have been around in the UK for nearly two decades. The basic principle of the agreement is that your lawyer agrees not to charge you their fee if you lose your case.
Why They Are a Good Idea
The general idea behind these is that they provide everyone with access to justice. If you feel that you have a rightful claim to compensation, perhaps after suffering a personal injury, you can hire a lawyer without the risk of ending up with a huge fee even if you lose.
If you did not have the option of a no win, no fee agreement, you might decide not to take the risk of going to court, thereby giving up your chances of getting compensation and justice.
Why Lawyers Offer Them
You may think that it is hardly a good deal for the lawyer to take the risk. However, lawyers will rarely take on your case unless they are sure that you have at least a good chance of winning. Lawyers will calculate the risk and base their decision on this, and they may charge a success fee if you win the case to reflect the risk that they are taking.
No Win, No Fee Does Not Mean ‘Free’
Some people assume that there is no risk at all and that if they lose their compensation claim, they won’t have to pay anything. However, CFAs do have some risk attached to them. If you lose, you will have to pay the costs of the lawyer on the winning side as well as any disbursements, even though you won’t have to pay your own lawyer’s fee.
ATE Insurance Reduces the Risk
Because of the financial risks involved, your lawyer may advise you to take out ATE insurance. This stands for ‘after the event’ insurance, and you will have to pay a premium for this. However, using this you will be covered for any costs you could end up with if you lose. Even if you do win, you still may have to pay your own lawyer’s success fee out of your compensation, so this is something else to consider.
Find Out All the Details from Your Lawyer
When you find a no win, no fee lawyer, make sure you know exactly what you could be liable to pay in the case that you either win or lose the claim for compensation. You do not want to end up with lots of fees that you did not expect, so find out everything you can before you hire a lawyer. You should also ask about how long the process is likely to take and how much you may be able to claim before you decide to proceed.
This guest post was written by Jefferies Solicitors, a firm of specialist personal injury lawyers. Find out more about claiming compensation for a personal injury at www.jefferies-solicitors.com.