The no win no fee system was introduced in the year 2000 to replace the need to claim legal aid when pursuing compensation in a case of personal injury. The guiding principle of the system is that a person deciding whether to launch a claim for personal injury should be able to make that decision on the basis of the facts of the case, rather than having to wonder if they can afford the legal fees. Put simply, you won’t have to pay your injury solicitor any money up front in order to put your case together and if you’re awarded compensation you’ll be allowed to keep it all, with your lawyers’ fees being paid by the other side.
However, with changes brought in by the passing of the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act, solicitor can no longer claim their ‘success fee’ from the losing side. This means that your injury lawyer will take up to 25% of the compensation you are awarded.
If you’re unlucky enough to lose your claim then the fees and costs involved will be covered by insurance taken out before the action began. The main effect of the no win no fee system has been to open up justice for anybody whilst also ensuring that lawyers only take on the strongest possible cases. An idea has sprung up that disreputable companies will encourage frivolous claims purely for the sake of it, but there’s very little incentive for this when the fees depend upon winning the argument.
Put simply, the vast majority of cases can be pursued under the no win no fee system. Car accidents, slips, trips and falls, accidents at work, whiplash accidents, motorbike accidents and sometimes medical negligence are amongst the types of case which can be pursued on this basis, but there are a few exceptions. Claims made via the criminal injuries compensation board or the motor insurance board, which handles claims involving untraced drivers, fall outside the no win no fee scheme, but that doesn’t mean they can’t be pursued.
If you’ve been injured and it wasn’t your fault then contact a no win no fee lawyer as quickly as possible. No matter what the circumstances, they’ll give you an honest opinion as to whether you have a strong claim for compensation and, if you do, they’ll set about working to get it for you.