If you find yourself in a situation where you need to take legal action against a company or an individual, your first thought may be, “how am I going to pay for this?” Court cases and claims can be incredibly stressful and daunting, and the thought of financial worries on top of this does put some people off from claiming compensation at all. Fortunately (depending on what kind of claim it is that you’re making), there are ways around this, and one of them is going for a ‘no win no fee’ agreement with your solicitor. But what does this actually mean? Which types of cases often employ this financial agreement? And how do you start looking for a solicitor? Here’s a brief guide to help you through what is no doubt a stressful time in your life.
What Does ‘No Win No Fee’ Mean?
Basically, ‘no win no fee’ is exactly what it sounds like. As the claimant, you pay no upfront costs to your solicitor. Then, if the claim is unsuccessful, your lawyer receives no payment from you whatsoever. If the case is successful, then all, or at least most, of the related costs and fees will be paid by the defendant (in the case of medical negligence, for example, this would usually be the insurance company representing the hospital where the doctor or member of staff responsible for the negligent action worked). Either way, you won’t be out of pocket, meaning that the whole situation is a lot less stressful for you and your family.
What Kind Of Cases Usually Offer No Win No Fee’ Agreements?
The most popular types of cases that use no win no fee are professional negligence or medical negligence and accident compensation claims. Medical (also referred to as ‘clinical’) negligence is a prime example. For instance, if you’ve suffered physically and financially from a medical injury or disease that was the result of a medical professional’s negligence (either by failing to do something or incorrectly identifying a problem) then you are more than likely eligible to make a financial compensation claim against the hospital or particular doctor. Commercial law actions and other cases such as contested wills can also benefit from no win no fee.
Finding The Right No Win No Fee Solicitor
There are a wide range of solicitors out there who offer no win no fee agreements for compensation claims, but how do you know where to even begin choosing a firm that will be right for you? For one thing, it’s worth looking to see if they have any customer testimonials, or if you’ve heard positive reviews from people in your area. In addition, it’s well worth making sure that your chosen solicitor is a specialist in the particular area of law. One good way of checking this is whether they are members of relevant specialist panels [e.g. the Law Society’s own Clinical Negligence panel]. Another thing to look out for is the services they offer. For example, some firms – as well as offering a no win no fee agreement – also provide free legal advice during an initial consultation (either in person or over the phone), so you can ask any questions you feel are relevant and decide if they’re the firm for you without handing over a single penny. Many legal firms also offer consultation via email if you are unable to meet in person, as well as home and hospital visits if you can’t make the journey to their offices. All of these things help to create a stress-free atmosphere when making your claim.
Tim Bishop is the senior partner of Bonallack and Bishop – Solicitors with specialist teams of claims experts acting for clients nationwide. For more information about making an accident, medical negligence or professional negligence claim using a no win no fee agreement, visit their specialist website at http://www.thenowinnofeesolicitor.co.uk, or give their claim team a call on 01722 422300.