No win, no fee agreements were in introduced in the UK in 1995 to help people who could not afford legal fees upfront to make a claim. Also known as conditional fee agreements, no win, no fee has fuelled the growth in the number of people making a claim in the past 10 years, because at long last there is a way for everybody – no matter their circumstance – to get the financial compensation that they are legally entitled to. Without doubt, no win, no fee has transformed the public’s access to legal representation and bettered the market.
But there are some dangers of no win, no fee claims you need to be aware of.
If your claim loses, you may have to pay the other side’s legal costs
The main danger to no win, no fee agreements is that the claimant may run up a bill of costs and they may be presented with them by the other side, should their claim be unsuccessful. So while no win, no fee agreements stipulate that you will have none of your own lawyer’s fees to pay if your claim loses, you may have to pay the other sides. This is an important consideration, especially so if your claim could be easily contested by the other party.
Insurance isn’t always an impenetrable safety net
The above predicament is largely nullified by the fact that under a conditional fee agreement, the claimant takes out an insurance policy to cover their costs. This fact is not widely understood – no win, no fee agreements will have an insurance policy. However, it is sometimes the case that insurers will not indemnify these costs. This often arises when the claim is found to be fraudulent, or where it is found that a personal injury claim collapsed because of the claimant. In such a situation, a bill of costs can be expected.
Overall, though, conditional fee agreements are the right agreement for most claims
It’s important that when it comes to deciding whether or not to make a claim, that you get good legal advice. A law firm like accident advice helpline can help you to ascertain your eligibility to make a claim, and advise on whether it is worth proceeding with. The dangers associated with conditional fee agreements won’t apply to you in most cases if you have a genuine case for financial compensation and an experienced accident lawyer at your side. If you would like to find out more about your eligibility to claim and get an idea of your case strength, call AAH’s Helpline on 0800 689 0500 or from your mobile on 0333 500 0993.