A Guide to Understanding ‘No Win No Fee’

With the exception of family or criminal matters, many civil claims are eligible for a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA’s), commonly known as ‘no win, no fee’.
The most common use of no win no fee agreements are compensation claims for personal injury. This can include injuries arising Injury Attorney Dallas out of; accidents at work, road traffic accidents, slips and trips, medical negligence claims and industrial disease claims.
Government statistics estimate 2.5 million people in the UK are injured in accidents every year. However, less than a third of these enquire about making a compensation claim. Many do not know what a no win no fee agreement is, and even more misunderstand the protection it provides and ramifications to you as a client.
For many years Legal aid for Civil Claims had been roundly criticised due to the qualifying limit being so low that only a few were able to bring claims to the courts. No win no fee was introduced in the Courts and Legal Services Act of 1990 to accompany the legal aid system. CFA’s finally replaced legal aid for all but a few actionable cases (eg medical negligence) in 2000. It is now the only way to bring a claim to court without funding it privately.
A Solicitor will first assess the merits of your claim, When they are satisfied of the strength of your claim and that your prospects of success are high, they may offer to represent you on a ‘No Win, No Fee’ basis..
The CFA will require the claimant to pay the Solicitors fees if the case is won, although the fees are normally recovered from the losing party. The Solicitor in agreeing to take on your case under a CFA takes a risk as he is not paid if the claim fails. To encourage Solicitors to take risks they are entitled to an extra fee (a success fee). Again this is paid in whole or part by the losing party.
You will however, still require funding for your claim to cover the other costs accrued such as your opponent’s Solicitor’s fees, and disbursement costs, (ie court fees, medical reports, barristers fees) should your claim fail. You may already have legal expense insurance as part of an existing policy or be a member of a Trade Union that would be willing to cover any costs awarded against you should the claim be unsuccessful.
Most clients will not have this in place, in which case your Solicitor will obtain After-The Event insurance (ATE) for you that will not cost you anything, provided your Solicitor can recover the premium at the end of your claim. The insurer will not charge you for the premium in cases where the claim is lost.
You should beware any Solicitor who wishes to take a percentage of your compensation (The only exceptions would be when making Questions To Ask Insurance Adjuster a claim through the MIB Untraced Driver’s scheme, the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority or some high risk claims).
Once you have a CFA signed and an ATE policy in place the Solicitor will begin acting for you. You will be entitled to 100% of your damages although it remains prudent to remain aware of the costs spent throughout the claim by the Solicitor in the event the other side or your ATE policy does not cover them.

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