What Happens If I Lose My Personal Injury Claim?18th Apr 2018
With access to legal aid becoming increasingly sparse, the financial implications of pursuing a claim for personal injury can be intimidating.
What if fault can’t be proven? Will you be left out of pocket, despite your best efforts?
If you were injured because of third party negligence, it’s extremely unfair for you to face the associated struggles alone – especially if the financial damages make it even harder for you to access fair jurisdiction.
Thankfully, ‘No Win, No Fee’ arrangements are here to provide a safety net and ensure that you won’t be punished for seeking the compensation you deserve – even if things don’t go to plan.
What Is ‘No Win, No Fee’?
A ‘No Win, No Fee’ contract is also known as a CFA (Conditional Fee Agreement).
A solicitor and client will enter in to the CFA with shared responsibility regarding the cost of litigation. Part – or sometimes all – of the solicitor’s fees will only be payable by the client in the event of success (usually about 25% of the total value of the claim).
If you don’t win the case, you won’t owe your solicitor anything.
If you’re wary of pursuing a claim because you aren’t confident of success, a CFA is a safe avenue to explore.
As there’s a degree of risk for your solicitor, they’re unlikely to take on a case with low odds. Drawing on their experience, they’ll simply advise you to withdraw your claim if it’s unlikely that you’ll win.
So, even wasting time and effort is doubtful with a CFA.
At a time when most of your focus needs to be placed on recovery, the minimal impact of a ‘No Win, No Fee’ can be extremely comforting.
‘After The Event’ Insurance
If a solicitor decides to represent your claim, they’re anticipating a decent chance of success.
However, there’s no crystal ball; the defendant could still refuse to accept liability for your personal injury, or they could be deemed unaccountable by a court.
If you lose your case, you won’t get any compensation for your injury. You’re also not liable of any of your solicitor’s legal costs, which were spent to reach this conclusion.
Unfortunately, if you lose the opposing party will be entitled to try to recover their expenditure from you. To protect you from suffering financial harm, your solicitor may recommend that that you take out ‘After The Event’ insurance (an ATE policy). This will be required if you have to issue court proceedings, but most cases settle before this is necessary.
ATE insurance will cover you against any costs claimed by the defendant and is purchased from your solicitor at the start of legal proceedings.
Although you could defer the purchase of ATE insurance until later in the day (for example, if a claim goes to court), it’s not advisable. Not only will the policy be more expensive to purchase at this stage, but it can’t be backdated; any costs incurred before the policy was obtained will still be your responsibility.
You only need to pay the premium of an ATE policy if your claim is successful. It will be paid using your settlement, in the same way that you would cover your solicitor’s fees.
If your claim is unsuccessful, you won’t need to pay anything for your ATE cover. So, you’re still protected from every angle when you make a claim with a CFA – there’s just a bit of extra admin that your solicitor will talk you through.
‘No Win, No Fee’ Claims Alleviate The Fear Of Loss
If you’ve suffered the misfortune of personal injury, you shouldn’t be left to pay for someone else’s mistakes.
Your loss of income, injuries and wellbeing are all quantifiable damages.
‘No Win, No Fee’ arrangements exist to remove barriers which could otherwise prevent you from claiming adequate compensation; including the fear of financial consequences from losing your case.
If you’ve suffered a personal injury and would like to make a claim, get in touch with Coles Miller’s expert personal injury solicitors.
Every claimant is entitled to a free initial phone chat to discuss the viability of their claim – book yours today.