Making a No Win No Fee claim with Claims4Free
Free legal advice on making a personal injury claim
Here at Claims4Free, we strive to provide clear and concise information for our visitors on what to do following an accident, and how to make a claim for compensation. All the information provided on Claims4Free is entirely free, and can help you decide whether or not you are in a position to start a compensation claim if you have suffered an injury following an accident.
Our injury solicitors have many years of experience dealing with a wide range of claims, from road traffic accidents, to injuries caused by accidents at work, right through to medical negligence. By providing our services on a no win no fee basis, we help ensure access to justice for those who have suffered a personal injury due to someone else's negligence.
Call now on 0808 115 0700 or Claim Online
Working on a no win, no fee basis
The no win no fee system was originally introduced in 1995 to partly replace the previous Legal Aid system. Under a no win no fee agreement (also known as Conditional Fee Arrangement), there are no upfront legal fees. This means that even if you are not well off financially, you can still gain access to legal assistance and claim compensation.
Previously, all lawyers' fees were paid by the losing side. However, with the passing of the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012, which came into effect in April 2013, injury lawyers can no longer claim their success fee from the other party. This means that if your claim is successful, your lawyer's fees are taken as a percentage of the compensation you are awarded, up to a maximum of 25%.
However, if your claim is lost, you are still not liable for any legal fees, hence the name "no win, no fee". Therefore, even if you lose, there is absolutely no financial risk when making a no win no fee claim.
Making sure your claim is successful
In order to make a successful claim for personal injury compensation it's important that three criteria are met:
- Firstly, you must have been involved in an accident which wasn't your fault, and was caused by the negligence of a third party.
- Secondly, as a result of this accident, you must have suffered some kind of personal injury or illness. For the purposes of a claim, this 'injury' can be physical or psychological in nature. The 'accident' in question might have been a one-off incident, or a longer term problem such as an unsafe working environment causing serious illness.
- The third criteria that must be met is that your claim falls within the statute of limitation. The Limitation Act 1980 states that a personal injury case must be started within three years of the date of the accident. However, there are some exceptions. In the case of an illness or medical negligence, you may not become aware of the injury until several years later. In cases such as these, the three year time limit starts from the date you become aware of your personal injury. Also, if the injured person is under the age of 18, the three year time limit begins when they reach their 18th birthday.
In some very rare cases the judge may waive the three year limit, but we recommend that you start your claim at the earliest possible opportunity.
Put simply, if you've been hurt and it wasn't your fault, you're already suffering. There's no reason this suffering should continue in the form of direct expenses, lost earnings or a reduced quality of life.
How long does a case normally take to reach a settlement?
The length of time it takes each individual case to reach a settlement depends hugely upon the specific details of each. If it's a relatively 'open and shut' road traffic accident, for example, with blame being easy to apportion, the other party may make an offer to settle before the case even reaches court. More complicated cases, on the other hand (particularly those involving medical negligence) may result in lengthy arguments over exactly what happened, who was to blame, and whether anyone has been negligent.
Besides blame, the other factor upon which a case settlement depends is the amount of compensation to be awarded. Your solicitor will come to a calculation based upon the accepted parameters for the type and severity of your injuries, and also an amount to compensate immediate expenses and projected lost earnings. If the other party accepts the quoted amount as reasonable then they may agree to pay up quickly, but if they choose to contest the figure, proceedings may be delayed until a full court case has been held. If you call us on 0808 115 0700 we'll put you in touch with a personal injuries solicitor who will provide you a reasonable time estimate, based on their experience and the circumstances of your claim.
How much will I receive in compensation?
The amount awarded for certain injuries and illnesses is based upon a specifically drawn up set of guidelines. There will be a sum based upon the part or parts of your body which have been hurt, which will then be calibrated in line with the severity of the injury. These are known as "general damages", and are only one half of the equation, in that it consists of directly compensating you for your pain and distress. The other half, called "special damages", is an amount calculated on the basis of factors such as your age, how long the injury has affected you or is likely to affect you, and expenses (such as travel fees and medical bills). Loss of earnings - both current and prospective - and any long term detrimental effect upon your overall quality of life is also taken into consideration.
Simply put, compensation is calculated to be an amount which will place you in a financial position akin to that should the accident never have occurred. It's not about punishing the negligent party, but about ensuring your suffering is minimised to the greatest possible degree. A personal injuries lawyer will be able to listen to the details of your case and come up with an estimated figure of how much they feel you are likely to receive.
To get an idea of how much you could be awarded in general damages, check out our compensation calculator.
Contacting a personal injury solicitor
An accident could be something as simple as a slip on a wet supermarket floor, or a more complex case of medical negligence. If you feel you may be in a position to seek compensation then call us on 0808 115 0700, and our trained advisers will note the details of your case. Should we feel your claim is likely to be successful, we'll put you in touch with one of our personal injury lawyers who will work to build the strongest possible case on your behalf. You can also submit your details using our online claim form.
Our expert solicitor will do everything to ensure you fully grasp the nuances of your case, and the nature of compensation cases as a whole. The solicitor will fully define the meaning of 'no win no fee', explain how successful you case is likely to be, and how much of your compensation payout (if applicable) you can expect to keep. These points will be discussed on a no obligation basis, and your case will only be taken on should our solicitor feel you have a good chance of succeeding. Feel free to contact us even if you are unsure if you have a case for compensation, as our legal advisers will be able to give you a definite answer.
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