The Good news is that there are no upfront charges or fees
Many clients I talk to are initially worried about the cost of bringing a claim. They are worried that they will be landed with a large bill for their injury claim and that they will not be able to pay it. This is often at a time when they may have had an accident at work, in their car or in a public place and their employers are not paying their wages. They may be very short of money. They may be in pain from the injury and wondering about how they can pay their mortgage. The last thing they want is to have to pay a large solicitors’ bill and so this prevents them from making a personal injury claim.
Consider a Conditional Fee Agreement
The good news is that provided that you enter into a no win, no fee agreement or what is known as a Conditional Fee Agreement or CFA for short with your Solicitor, there is nothing to pay up front for the cost of your Solicitor bringing a claim on your behalf.
Why? The system of conditional fee agreements was brought in by the government to replace the withdrawal of legal aid for the majority of personal injury claims.
Unfortunately, there is a lot of documentation that the Solicitor is legally obliged to send out to you. This can be sent either digitally or by post. You will need to read and sign the documents if you want to enter into a conditional fee agreement, otherwise known as a no win, no fee agreement, with your Solicitor. Any queries you have about the documents can be easily answered by your Solicitor. They will be explain to you in detail the documents before they send them to you to sign.
Don’t worry about ringing your Solicitor to discuss your queries. You can send them via email or post if you feel that you do not understand the contents of those documents. It is never a good idea to sign a document without truly understanding its contents as you are committing yourself to a contract with your Solicitor.
Consider After the Event Insurance (ATE)
Once the documents are signed your Solicitor may advise you to take out after the event insurance (ATE for short) which will cover you for any cost order which is made against you at any point in your claim. ATE also covers the cost of medical reports, other expert reports which may be needed to run your claim as well as court fees.
This ATE insurance means that if you lose your claim your will have nothing to pay for your claim. You will not have to pay your Solicitor either if they are acting on a no win, no fee (Conditional Fee Agreement).
The great thing about this ATE insurance is that you do not even have to pay the premium when you start your claim. However, if you win your case the premium for this insurance will be deducted from your compensation together with your Solicitor’s legal success fee which will be capped at 25% of the compensation you receive. However, this legal success fee cannot be deducted from all the compensation you receive but only from past loss of earnings and past care which your relatives and friends have given you because of your accident related injuries and the compensation you receive for pain and suffering but it cannot be deducted from any future losses such as future loss of earnings, future medical fees or care you might need in the future by family and friends.
Conditional fee agreements were brought in by the government to replace legal aid which has been withdrawn for personal injury claims and clients are often nervous that they will be faced with a large bill to pay if they lose their claims. However, this is simply not the case and means that your Solicitors carefully analyses the merits of your claim and so this cuts down on claims being brought that have no merits. If your claims were not successful you would not receive any compensation and your solicitor would not receive any money.
We have been in business dealing with claims like yours for the last 25 years. If we were in the habit of taking on claims that we did not win, we would not be in business.
If you need any further explanation, please do not hesitate to get in touch with our personal injury team on FREEPHONE 0800 0747 7644 who will be happy to explain the process further but rest assured there is really nothing to worry about in respect of your solicitors’ costs in bringing a claim for personal injury provided you enter into a no win, no fee agreement with your Solicitor.