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Conditional Fee Agreements - No Win No Fee


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If you want to pursue a personal injury claim in the UK without having to pay out huge legal fees it is possible to come to a no win, no fee legal agreement with a solicitor.

Legal aid is unlikely to be available for anyone claiming compensation after an accident at work or on the roads. Similarly any other kind of personal injury compensation claim is highly unlikely to qualify for legal aid. As a consequence of this claimants would have to pay legal costs in advance and would run the risk of losing that money if the claim was lost in court. To avoid this scenario most solicitors now offer to take personal injury cases on a conditional fee basis.

More widely known as no win no fee legal agreements they basically mean that should you lose your case than you will not have to pay any solicitors costs. If the case is won than you will have to pay your solicitors fees though, in reality, those costs are usually claimed back from the other side.

Be warned, even though armed with a no win, no fee legal agreement, you may still face costs. You could be asked to purchase"after the event" insurance protection by your solicitor. This insures you against having to personally pay the opposition's legal costs should your compensation claim fail. There is no compulsion to purchase "after the event" insurance, but it is wise to consult with your solicitor on the matter.

Despite the premise of not having to pay legal fees there may still be other expenses that you will have to folk out for. For instance, in a personal injury compensation claim ,the complainant will almost certainly have to pay for medical and accident reports, court fees and possibly expert witness fees. These costs can become very significant and are not covered by the conditional fee agreement.

So it is advisable to confirm with your solicitor what fees and expenses they are likely to be, in addition to an estimation of costs before signing any no win, no fee legal agreement. It is also important to check the fine details of the contract to see if you will have to pay out should the case be dropped or you refuse a settlement. In short, read the small print very carefully.

With a no win, no fee legal agreement you will not be out cash if you lose your case. If you win your solicitor is paid a success fee. This is often claimed from the losing side, but the court can rule the loser is not liable for the full amount of your legal fees. In such a case, the balance will come out of your compensation award.

Before entering into any agreement with a solicitor ask him to confirm his success fee. Compare that fee with the amount of compensation you believe you are entitled to. If the fees seem to be too high than you may wish to try another solicitor.

Solicitors all charge different fees, so it is better to look for the one whose success fee is reasonable.

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