No Win No Fee Lawyer UK: Will you be charged to make a personal injury claim?
Find out in a Q&A whether you are charged anything at all when using a UK no win no fee lawyer to make your personal injury claim.
Personal Injury Victim Question
If I use a solicitor to make my accident claim will there be any cost to me at all?
UK No Win No Fee Lawyer Response
When using a UK no win no fee lawyer – whether or not there is an actual cost to you in making your accident claim will depend on a number of factors.
1. What is a no win no fee lawyer UK?
A “no win no fee lawyer UK” is also known as a no win no fee solicitor – a solicitor is the type of lawyer who will make an accident claim on your behalf.
No win no fee (technically known as a conditional fee agreement) refers to the manner in which you can fund your legal fees to make a personal injury claim.
Notably – if you do not win your claim you do not have to pay your own no win no fee lawyer’s professional fees.
See our no win no fee article, which describes the type of legal costs a no win no fee solicitor will incur in making your claim
2. Legal costs when you win a compensation claim using a no win no fee agreement?
If you win your claim using a no win no fee agreement – do not presume that you are exempt from paying legal costs.
Sometimes a no win no fee injury solicitor may charge you for any shortfall in costs (for claims started after April 2013 – the the person at fault no longer had to pay all legal costs and the law changed to allow your solicitor to recover unpaid legal costs for up to 25% of your compensation).
At the end of a successful compensation claim (commenced before April 2013) your solicitor will charge the majority of your legal costs to the person who caused your accident, who is responsible for paying your compensation and your legal costs, but only so far as the costs are considered reasonable.
In most accident claims there is a shortfall in legal costs and unrecovered legal costs – a shortfall represents the difference between the amount your solicitor charged the opposition and the amount actually received and unrecovered represents certain types of costs the losing party is not obliged by law to pay.
It is possible under a no win no fee agreement that a UK personal injury solicitor can recover this difference, or shortfall, from you. Most no win no fee lawyers will not do this, but it is best to clarify before signing an agreement that this is true of your claim.
For claims commenced after April 2013 – no win no fee agreements typically allow your solicitor to deduct up to 25% of your compensation for unrecovered legal costs.
3. What are disbursements and who pays for these under a no win no fee agreement?
Disbursements are expenses a solicitor pays out on your behalf for things such as obtaining a medical report, court costs etc. These are not your solicitor’s legal fees and so, win or lose your claim, you are responsible for them.
If you win your claim you can charge the person who caused your accident these sums in addition to your legal fees, but again any shortfall would be your responsibility.
Your no win no fee lawyer UK should advise you about the options of meeting the cost of disbursements, including a funding and insurance policy – which will ensure your disbursements are paid in an ongoing manner and their expense insured should you lose your claim.
4. The oppositions legal costs should you lose your compensation claim
For claim commenced prior to April 2013 – the loser pays the winner’s costs – so should your claim be unsuccessful you are responsible for paying the winner’s legal costs.
A no win no fee agreement does not protect you from paying these sums – but your lawyer should explain the insurance policies that can be taken out to protect you from meeting this expense.
After April 2013 – a losing Claimant is no longer automatically responsible for paying all of the Defendant’s legal costs. There are still some cases – such as fundamental dishonesty – where a losing Claimant can still be held responsible for the other side’s costs.
See our traffic accident compensation article explaining how you can claim your legal costs from the person at fault for your accident.
5. Rules in Scotland in relation to no win no fee differ than England and Wales
In England and Wales, no win no fee agreements exist as described above – in Scotland they are very different: deductions might be made from the compensation you receive.
Specialist solicitor free online legal help
We offer free legal help in various forms – simply see our specialist personal injury solicitor help to select the free assistance you require.
You can speak to our solicitors direct, ask an online question, have your claim assessed or discuss how best to use a UK no win no fee lawyer to help you make your personal injury compensation claim.