No Win, No Fee Compensation Claim Questions
Can I Make a Claim?
If you have sustained an injury or suffered from an incident that you believe was not your fault then the answer is most likely YES. We will generally be able to provide you with an indication of likely success from an initial telephone conversation to assess your claim (this is free of charge).
At Scrivenger Seabrook Solicitors we will only take on a no win, no fee compensation claim if we feel there is a reasonable chance of success.
How Much Compensation Will I Receive?
- General Damages. You are entitled to an award for pain, suffering and loss of amenity the value of which is calculated by aligning it to similar previous awards.
- Special Damages. These compensate quantifiable personal financial losses e.g. Loss of earnings.
- Future Losses. A provision may also have to be made for ongoing losses e.g. Loss of future earnings.
For further guidance on compensation and an indication of compensation awards please visit our Compensation page.
Is It Free?
Legal Aid for personal injury claims was abandoned in 1998 in the UK and was replaced by the Conditional Fee Agreement, better known as the No Win, No Fee compensation claim system. Compensation solicitors are now entitled to be paid only if they win the claim. Because they are not paid if they lose solicitors are entitled to charge a “success fee” if they win the case.
Prior to April 2013 in a successful claim the Defendant had to pay virtually all the fees. The legal provisions for recovery of costs are very complex. In some cases, such as lower value personal injury claims, fixed fees are recoverable. We make a commitment that if there is a shortfall in terms of solicitors’ fees, this will not exceed 25% of the value of the claim for pain and suffering and past loss. Future loss claims are entirely protected. The extent to which any unrecovered solicitors’ costs have to be met from compensation (not exceeding 25% of the compensation figure) depends upon the amount of work that has to be undertaken and whether or not, for instance, an early admission of responsibility is made. The less work that has to be undertaken the greater the compensation recoverable but the existence of the “cap” preserving 75% of compensation or more can leave Claimants with the confidence that if the case is successful it will be worthwhile.
To soften the blow of these changes in terms of the fees that are recoverable, figures for compensation in respect of pain and suffering were simultaneously increased by 10%. This means that with a No Win, No Fee / Conditional Fee Agreement, in the event of a successful outcome, the majority of your compensation claim will be paid to you regardless of the amount of work that has had to be undertaken and the length of time that it has taken to bring the claim to a successful conclusion.
What Happens If I Lose?
Whilst we are highly confident of winning your case if we take it on, no one can guarantee success. Scrivenger Seabrook Solicitors can guarantee that under a Conditional Fee Agreement you will not have to pay any solicitors’ fees if you lose. The reasons are as follows: We sign an agreement with you before we start, stating that we will not be paid at all if the case is unsuccessful. Should you lose your claim we will have also explored insurance options to ensure that you will also be covered for expenses related to medical and court fees as we will help you to arrange ‘After The Event Insurance Cover’ (ATE) if you require it and it is the best option in the circumstances.
The rule changes that came in after 1st April 2013 brought about one positive development for claimants. Provided your claim is not found to be fraudulent then even if you are unsuccessful you will not have to pay the costs of the opponent if you lose the case. This gives you an advantage. Your opponent (whether an insurance company or a health trust) will have to pay its own legal costs even if it successfully defends your case. The costs situation is also influenced by the making of settlement offers and at the appropriate time we would advise you, were an offer to be made, of the implications.
Is There a Time Limit?
The time limit for initiating a No Win, No Fee compensation claim is generally three years. There are however a number of exceptions to this.
If you are a child or you are under a disability which prevents you from conducting a claim the time limit will be extended to three years from either your 18th birthday or the date that you became able to conduct the claim. There is another exception. Some conditions such as mesothelioma only produce symptoms much later than the date of exposure to asbestos. The law allows three years in such circumstances from the date upon which a claimant first knew or should have appreciated that they were suffering from a significant injury. This also allows certain claims to be permitted to proceed beyond the three year period such as clinical negligence claims in which the claimant only realises that they might have a claim at a point after three years from the date of the alleged negligent treatment.
When you contact Scrivenger Seabrook Solicitors for your initial free assessment we will advise you on the timescales that you will need to consider in bringing a compensation claim.
The Process Explained
The good news is that you actually do very little. The process of bringing a No Win, No Fee compensation claim is generally as follows:
- call Scrivenger Seabrook Solicitors on 0800 195 9829 to receive your free compensation claim assessment
- you will receive advice and guidance on whether you have a case which we are happy to take on for you
- you are given all of the facts so you can decide whether to proceed with a claim
- we arrange a meeting or a conference to discuss the case in more detail, and only if 100% happy…
- …you sign a ‘Conditional Fee Agreement’ (No Win, No Fee agreement)
- we then arrange medical examinations, expert opinions & gather evidence
- we issue a ‘letter of claim’ to the defendant – they have three months to respond (four months in certain cases) advising of their intentions
- either the defendant admits negligence and moves to settle by negotiation when it is ready for settlement, or the claim goes to court
- Scrivenger Seabrook Solicitors will present your case to the court and thereafter a judgment will be made as to whether you are entitled to compensation and/or the amount of compensation that should be paid
How Long Does a No Win, No Fee compensation claim take?
There is no stock answer to how long a No Win, No Fee compensation claim can take. It depends on the type of case and whether it reaches court. A work accident claim might be settled within 6 to 12 months if straightforward in terms of responsibility and the injuries suffered. A medical negligence claim often takes longer. In some cases it may be possible to obtain a part-payment of your compensation whilst the claim is being progressed.