What can I claim?
If you have been injured as a result of another party’s negligence or breach of statutory duty you are entitled to make a claim for compensation. Compensation is broken down into two distinct categories:
Compensation for the injury you suffered (your pain suffering and loss of amenity): this is called General Damages, and compensation for all the financial loss you have suffered that flows directly from you having been injured: this is called Special Damages.
Special damages can include, amongst other things, the cost of any private medical treatment you might need as a result of being injured and any wage loss you have suffered as a result of being out of work.
As well as claiming for your past loss, it is also possible, in more serious cases where a long term recovery is expected, to claim for your anticipated future losses. This requires high levels of technical skill and experience to make sure you recover everything that you are entitled to.
What is a “no win no fee” agreement?
No win no fee agreements or “Conditional Fee Agreements” allow you to instruct a solicitor even if you do not have the financial means to pay for their services up front. Furthermore, it gives you peace of mind that you will not be financially worse off for having engaged a solicitor to pursue a claim for you.
The solicitor agrees to do all the work for you and not charge you for their services until the end of the case, and only if they win the case for you. You however remain responsible for the payment of any disbursements (such as court fees or medical report fees) regardless of whether you win or lose.
You can then pay for your solicitor from the legal costs you recover as the successful party and also the compensation you receive in your claim.
Insurance is also available to protect you against the costs associated with losing your case. Such insurance policies will pay any of your opponent’s costs that you are ordered to pay as well as the disbursements your solicitor has paid on your behalf throughout the life of the case.
In return for taking the risk of not getting paid at all, your solicitor is allowed to charge you a success fee.
Conditional fee agreements are a great way to gain access to justice if you cannot afford to engage a solicitor on a private basis.
How much will it cost me?
For an initial interview:
All of our initial discussions with you to assess whether or not you have a claim are completely free and on a no obligation basis.
If you have Legal Expense Insurance, Trade Union Cover or are eligible for public funding (formerly known as Legal Aid).
We will check these for you and advise if we think you are covered. If you are, these may well cover you for the entire cost of your claim.
Conditional fee agreements:
If none of the funding options above are available to you then we will recommend that you enter into a Conditional Fee Agreement with us.
We will do all the work for you to conclude your claim and will not charge you until the end, and only if we are successful in your case. If you do not win your case, we will not charge you our fees. You will however remain responsible for any disbursements (medical reports and court fees etc.,) that we have paid on your behalf.
We recommend that you take out an after the insurance product to cover you for your disbursements if you lose your case, and any of your opponents costs you may be ordered to pay. The premium for the insurance policy will not be payable until the end of the case and if you lose, the policy pays the premium off so you will not be out of pocket.
In return for taking the risk of not getting paid at all, we are entitled to charge you a success fee in addition to our basic legal charges. The success fee can be up to 100% of our basic legal costs but can never be more than 25% of the damages you recover (inclusive of VAT).
If you win you will get from your opponent:
Most of the basic legal costs that we are entitled to charge;
- Your compensation;
- Your opponent does NOT pay for:
The premium for any after the event insurance you take out;
- Our success fee (or any success fee charged by any barrister we engage)
- These costs will need to be funded out of the compensation you receive. This is now standard industry practice and when first implemented by the Government, it increase the amount of general damages awarded to people by 10% to take account of that change.
If you lose your case:
YOU WILL NOT HAVE TO PAY A PENNY
It costs you absolutely nothing. So you will never be worse off for having instructed Birchall Blackburn Law to pursue a personal injury case for you.