No Win No Fee – The Innovation in Access to Justice

Personal Injury is not something anyone wishes to suffer during their lifetimes whether it be a minor injury which amounts to more of a frustrating annoyance or a major one which leads to severe incapacitation and great hardship. The annoyance of this can be increased significantly if one feels they are not to blame for the injury and relating suffering which consequentially follows. In the interests of justice, where the injury has been caused through the negligence of another, legal redress may be available to provide compensation for the injury suffered.
However the costs and practicalities of this can be insurmountable for many to contemplate undertaking alone. An already harrowing injury can be exacerbated by great financial hardship, for example if the injury prevents one from working, or requires the provision of expensive specialist care/equipment, not to mention the mental stress this may also cause.
Until relatively recently this unsatisfactory position could be a more regular occurrence. Consequently access to justice could be restricted, particularly where Legal Aid was unavailable. The legal reforms of the 1990s altered this position which as evidenced in many situations could be unfair. The innovation was the introduction of Conditional Fee arrangements or No Win No Fee – here legal professionals may take up cases and only receive a fee should the case be successful. Whilst this is by no means without its problems – it has been argued that perhaps too many superfluous claims are now made, and a compensation culture is being encouraged. It has certainly helped many gain the access to justice they deserve and alleviated some of the problems outlined above.
It must however be considered that this does not absolutely provide courses of redress for all potential litigants, after all firms have no obligation to undertake cases and due to the fee structure being charged (dependent on success) they are Lawyers Com Personal Injury unlikely to take up a case unless they are very confident in winning it. Consequently those who may have a deserving case but do not quite pass this likelihood of success threshold may still be in the rather burdensome scenario discussed.
Lawyers have also been criticised for taking advantage of the system and charging exorbitant fees in relation to the amount of compensation concerned, something which is now partially under review is their ‘success fee’ for winning a case. However the payment of these fees will usually be recovered from the defendant at fault for the accident, the best way for them to protect against such claims is to ensure they are not negligent in the first place. How practicable this is, and whether their level of responsibility is legally too high, leading to an American style ‘ambulance chasing compensation culture’ is a lengthy debate in itself.
Whatever the case in relation to lawyers fees and the respondents liabilities the simple fact remains; No Win No Fee Solicitors help to provide significant legal protection to potential claimants who are, after Negligence Cases Examples all usually the most vulnerable party and the system, whatever shortcomings it may have and reorganisations which may be required, should be applauded for improving these vulnerable peoples access to justice.

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