If you have suffered injuries or been made ill in an accident that was not your fault, you may be able to claim compensation from the party responsible. If you decide to take on legal representation, you might choose a solicitor that offers a No Win No Fee service. As a result, you won’t need to pay any solicitors fees unless you receive compensation. In this article, we’ll review how Conditional Fee Agreements or CFAs work. CFAs are the type of contract used to fund No Win No Fee agreements.
What is a Conditional Fee Agreement?
A conditional fee agreement is a contract between you and your legal representative. It sets out the work that your solicitor will do for you to help you claim compensation. It will also explain what conditions must be met before you’ll need to pay for their work.
When using a CFA, there are no upfront fees to pay. Furthermore, you won’t have to pay for your solicitor’s work if the case fails and you’re not compensated. If your case is won, some of your solicitor’s expenses will be paid for by the defendant. You’ll also pay a success fee.
The CFA will explain what success fee you need to pay so you’ll know about it from the outset. It will be listed as a certain percentage of any compensation you are awarded. Legally, the most you’ll pay when using a CFA is 25% of your settlement. Again, the success fee does not need to be paid if your claim fails.
Why can’t I keep 100% of my compensation?
Before April 2013, your solicitor’s success fee would’ve been claimed from the defendant if your case was won. That meant you would have kept all of the compensation that was awarded to you.
However, the enactment of the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment Act 2012 changed that. As a result of the new law, claimants must now pay their own success fees. The law also sets out the maximum 25% success fee when claiming with a conditional fee agreement.
Although that might not seem fair, the law is the law. To counter the implementation of the fee, compensation amounts in the Judicial College Guidelines were increased by 10%.
When can Conditional Fee Agreements be used?
Our solicitors may offer to fund a variety of cases with a conditional fee agreement. You could use one to make:
- Accident at work claims.
- Local council accident claims.
- Medical negligence claims.
- Criminal injury claims.
- Slip, trip and fall claims.
- Road traffic accident claims.
- Public liability claims.
To check if you’re eligible to claim on a No Win No Fee basis, please get in touch today.
Criteria for using a Conditional Fee Agreement
There are no legal criteria for when a solicitor must offer to work on a No Win No Fee basis. However, before they agree to fund your case with a conditional fee agreement, your solicitor will usually check that:
- You were owed a duty of care by the defendant; and
- Because of negligence by the defendant, an accident or incident occurred; in which
- You were made ill or sustained an injury; and
- The accident took place in the last 3-years or the condition you’re claiming for was diagnosed within that time limit.
Duty of care is something that can usually be established by legislation. Your solicitor will check this with you before accepting your case. One example is where a shop owes its customers a duty of care to try and keep them safe because of the Occupiers Liability Act 1957. Similarly, the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 places a duty of care on employers to try and protect their staff’s welfare while working. Again, your solicitor will check that a duty of care existed before taking on your claim.
Our solicitors don’t want to waste your time so they’ll only agree to represent you if there is a reasonable chance that your case can be won. If you’d like your claim reviewed for free, please get in touch.
What happens if a No Win No Fee claim is lost?
The idea of using a No Win No Fee service is that there is little financial risk to the claimant. By taking on the financial burden themselves, solicitors know that more people are likely to use them.
However, if your claim fails, you might be told to pay the defendant’s costs and legal fees. To prevent you from having to pay this yourself, your solicitor will make sure that an After The Event (ATE) policy is in place before your claim begins. This will either be taken out by the solicitor or it might be something that’s already in place through your car or home insurance policy.
The ATE insurance is designed to cover any costs the defendant claims from you if the claim is lost or abandoned. The only time you might be liable for these costs is if the case failed because you were dishonest or failed to engage with your solicitor throughout the claim.
Start a claim using a Conditional Fee Agreement today
We hope that this article has shown how beneficial conditional fee agreements can be and when you could use one. If you would now like to begin a claim with us, please call our team on 0800 652 1345 right away.
There’s nothing to lose by calling us as we’ll conduct a no-obligation case review and offer free legal advice whatever you decide to do. If your case is accepted, it will be managed by a specialist solicitor on a No Win No Fee basis.
Thanks for reading this article about how conditional fee agreements work, and if you have any further questions, please get in touch.