If you’re looking to make a claim for compensation, then there are quite a few different factors that you’ll need to take into account – not least of all what you’ll receive in the event that your claim is successful.
Once you’ve found the right solicitor to deal with your claim, you’ll undoubtedly discuss the many benefits of entering into a “no win, no fee” agreement with them (otherwise known as a “conditional fee agreement”). These type of agreement terms offer numerous benefits to potential claimants and above all else, make it perfectly clear what you can expect to receive at the conclusion of your case.
In this article, we take a look, more specifically, at what happens if you win your claim – and what this might mean in terms of any payments you might be expected to make.
What does “no win, no fee” mean?
The basis of a “no win, no fee” agreement is that you won’t have to pay for any of your solicitors costs up front. This, in itself, can be hugely beneficial, of course – particularly for those who might otherwise not be able to bring a claim due to a lack of available funds – and it’s certainly no great secret that solicitor fees can be quite expensive. In fact, they typically range anywhere between £111.00 and £409.00 per hour, depending on whereabouts in the UK you live.  As you’d probably expect, solicitor fees in London are considerably more expensive than those further north.
A “no win, no fee” agreement essentially means that, if your case is unsuccessful, then you won’t have to pay your solicitors fees. These will be covered by your solicitor’s own insurance policy. If, on the other hand, your claim is successful, then your solicitor fees will be covered for you.
What are the other benefits of a “no win, no fee” arrangement?
Aside from the fact you won’t have any initial fees to pay in order to bring a claim against the third party, there are many other benefits to this type of arrangement which include:-
- Not having to worry about any element of risk in making a claim; since this will ultimately be taken by your solicitor
- If you lose your case, then you won’t have to pay any solicitor fees
- If you win your case, then your solicitor can only claim a capped percentage of your compensation
- Personal injury lawyers only earn their money if they win cases – whereas any other type of private lawyer will simply be able to charge on an hourly basis, regardless of whether you win the claim, or not
How can I increase my chances of making a successful claim?
If you’ve had an accident, then it’s certainly advisable to keep a diary note of all the expenses you occur as a direct result of it – even if it’s simply a parking ticket for just a few pence. You should be able to claim all of your expenses back; no matter how small they might seem.
If you’ve suffered any type of injury, then your solicitor might also recommend that you keep a diary note relating to your recovery, including any trips to the hospital, or GP, together with any specific feelings you might have – especially if you feel anxious getting back into a vehicle or become apprehensive about driving on the road again. This is classed as ‘psychological damage’ and, although it can’t physically be seen, it can still be claimed for as part of your overall compensation.
What happens if I win my claim?
If you’ve made your personal injury claim on a “no win, no fee” basis (or under a ‘conditional fee agreement’) and you win your claim, the defendants (or their insurers) will pay your solicitor costs. You may, however, have to pay a ‘success fee’ to your solicitor, although this will not be more than a capped percentage of the compensation amount. This part of your arrangement should always be discussed with you at the very onset of your claim, and any subsequent agreement you enter into should be fully explained, so you know exactly what to expect, regardless of the outcome of your case.
If your case proceeds to a court hearing, then Judgment will typically be awarded, and the other side will usually be given 21 days in order to make the payment to you (although this time period can, of course, vary).
What’s more, if your claim is successful then all your expenses will be recoverable from the other side – for example, any medical fees you might have incurred, or any loss of earnings you may have suffered as a result of being off work.
If you’ve instructed a solicitor then the compensation will usually go into their client account and, once their fees have been deducted, it’ll be forwarded on to you without delay.
As with any type of legal agreement, it’s important that you speak with your legal representative at length should you wish to enter into a no win, no fee agreement. The amount you’ll have to pay if your claim is successful will vary from firm to firm, so it’s certainly worth taking the time to shop around and get the best deal (do remember that the cheapest option isn’t necessarily the best!).
Whilst your solicitor should discuss any future concerns with you at the outset of your claim, you should also ensure that any compensation you get awarded sufficiently covers any expenses you might incur during your rehabilitation period. These can typically include future prescription charges, any mobility aids you might need (such as a scooter or electric wheelchair etc.) and of course, any psychological impact the accident might have had on you. Drivers, in particular, are often very surprised at how anxious they feel when returning to the road and this element of your claim should never be underestimated.
However, with the right lawyer in your corner such as Smith Jones Solicitors, and evidenced facts to support your claim for compensation, then there’s absolutely no reason why your claim shouldn’t be successful and compensated for accordingly.
 Solicitors’ guideline hourly rates: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/solicitors-guideline-hourly-rates#guideline-hourly-rates