Claim For Personal Injury
Once you have decided that you wish to make a claim for personal injury, the next question is usually “how will I fund the claim?”
There are several issues to consider at the beginning of any claim – these will be discussed with you in detail before any agreement is put into place. It is important to note that there is no charge for the first meeting / discussion.
In brief however, each issue is outlined below:-
1. A Conditional Fee Agreement (No Win, No Fee Agreement)
These are referred to as “Conditional Fee Agreements” as fees are conditional upon certain outcomes of the claim.
In basic terms, if you are offered and accept a No Win, No Fee Agreement, you pay nothing if your claim is unsuccessful, provided you comply with the terms of the agreement.
If your claim succeeds, we are able to claim a proportion of our legal costs and expenses from the losing party (the Defendant) however we are no longer able to claim all costs from the Defendant. Sadly the result is that we shall take a pre-agreed percentage of clients compensation at the end of a successful claim.
In order to be eligible for a No Win, No Fee agreement, we have to assess that your claim is worth in excess of £1,000 and further that it stands a 51% or higher chance of success.
2. Legal Aid / Public Funding
Unfortunately the Government has withdrawn the availability of Legal Aid in standard personal injury cases though it is still currently available in some medical negligence claims. Therefore this is no longer an option.
3. Membership To Organisations
If you are employed, you may belong to a Union of some sort. Sometimes, one of the benefits of such membership is legal advice / representation for claims. You are advised to check this position at the beginning of your claim, as it may cause problems later down the line if you find out that you did in fact have this cover but did not use it. Usually, such cover requires you to notify your organisation of your intention to claim within a set amount of time. You may sometimes be asked to use your organisations own solicitors to handle your claim.
If this is an Option, we shall discuss this with you in detail at the initial meeting.
4. Private Funding
You may choose to instruct us on a private basis – i.e. to pay us by the hour for time spent working on your file. In a successful claim you may be able to claim these costs back. You would however lose these costs in the event of an unsuccessful claim. Note that by choosing this option, you are also liable for any expenses such as copy police reports, medical reports etc.. Again you may be able to claim these costs back in a successful claim provided that they were justified and incurred reasonably having regards to the type and value of claim under review.
Occasionally a client will have to proceed by way of this Option where there are no other options available to him/her.
5. Legal Expenses Insurance – “Before The Event” Insurance
This is insurance that you may already have in your / your family’s name. A great many people are unaware that they have this insurance protection. Called “Before The Event” insurance, it provides cover in advance for any legal matter that may arise during the term of your policy cover.
The extent of this cover will depend upon who you are insured with and what you pay for. Some insurers offer this as part of their standard cover, with others you have to opt in and pay more for this.
This insurance comes under many different names – Before The Event Insurance, Legal Expenses Insurance, Family Legal Protection etc… Sometimes it will be explained in a large paragraph in your policy documents though with other insurers it could just be mentioned in one line in your policy.
This is more commonly found in household contents insurance, though could also be found in other insurance policies, such as mobile telephone insurance, credit card insurance etc.. You are only able to use the legal expenses insurance provided on a motor car policy if you have been involved in a road traffic accident. We will be able to tell you if you have this cover by reviewing your insurance policies.
Again depending upon the policy contents, you may only have so many days / months to report your accident to your insurance provider and may also have to use the solicitor recommended by them in order to be covered by your insurance.
We will discuss this with you in detail during the early stages of your claim.
6. Legal Expenses Insurance – “After The Event” Insurance
As the name suggests, this insurance policy is taken out after the accident to insure you against the risk of having to pay Defendant’s costs. This normally goes hand in hand with the No Win, No Fee agreement, though can be taken out if you are paying privately for your costs as in section 3 above.
This insurance normally covers the Defendant’s legal costs and expenses and your own expenses. Note that your own legal costs will tend to be covered already by the No Win, No Fee agreement.
Cases are assessed in accordance with their chances of success and a premium calculated. Some insurance companies may offer a fixed premium dependent upon the type of claim. In most cases, this premium is only payable by the client in the event of a successful claim. We shall be happy to explain this to you further when explaining the funding options to you.