Most personal injury claims are processed on a no win, no fee basis. Under such agreements, your solicitor is paid only when your claim is successful. But what are the fees you will pay, and how much are they going to be?
Charges and Fees
Solicitors set their own fees and charges vary according to case complexity, the method of funding and solicitor experience. Because of this, it is impossible for us to say in this article how much your fees will be. What we can say however is that the fees your solicitor charges are usually recovered from your compensation amount, and that the maximum percentage a solicitor can take is 25% of the amount awarded. That 25% is the total amount awarded, including all general damages (injury damages) and special damages (financial damages).
So for example, if you have had an accident at work no win no fee and you get a pay-out of £2,000, then your solicitor can take a maximum of £500 as a fee, leaving you with £1,500.
Sometimes, however, it is possible for a solicitor to recover their basic fees from the other side, in which case the percentage your solicitor takes from your compensation will be less or 0%, leaving you with 100% of your compensation.
Can I Negotiate a Lower Rate?
If your solicitor specifies that they will take 25% of your compensation as a fee, you are perfectly within your rights to look for another solicitor if you haven’t signed anything yet or you can try to negotiate a lower rate, say 20% of your compensation amount. Your solicitor may well agree to this, providing the potential compensation amount is substantial, however it is important to remember that lawyers charge according to their experience and as such, going for a solicitor with a lower rate may not be the best move forward.
It’s also important to remember that all costs, charges and fees should be clearly explained to you before you make a claim. You should not be signing anything you are not fully clued up on. You should have a thorough understanding about how much your lawyer is charging you and you should also be aware of the risks of claim failure under a no win, no fee agreement. The risk, for those of you who are unaware of it, is that you will be liable for the other side’s costs if your claim loses so you may rack up a bill. ‘After the Event’ insurance is a product that eradicates this risk, so make sure you ask your solicitor about this before you sign on the dotted line, or use the internet to conduct your own research.