If you decide to make a claim for compensation after suffering a personal injury that was not your fault, it is important that you understand the potential legal costs. Raising a claim in the United Kingdom can be expensive, but you may be able to get some financial support. Financial support is supposed to make it easier for everybody to be able to access the justice that they deserve, however it is not available or suitable for everyone. Here are some of the options which might be suitable for you.

Insurance Policy

If you have insurance for your house, car or travel, you might find that there is a clause in there that helps you to cover your legal expenses. However, the policy will probably only cover legal expenses if they relate to the type of insurance that you have. For example, legal cover in a car insurance policy probably won’t help you if you tripped up in the workplace. However, it could help you to pursue some additional compensation if you were forced to use expensive taxis after a car accident. Adding legal cover to an insurance policy normally only increases the premium by a small amount annually, so it is worth considering adding it to your policy next time that you renew. Solicitors’ fees can be really high, so taking out this extra cover can help you to make big savings if you did need to pursue legal action for any reason.

Legal Aid

Some people who are in receipt of benefits or have a lower financial income may be eligible to access legal aid to pursue certain civil cases. Recent changes to Legal Aid criteria means that this type of support is no longer available for personal injury claims in England or Wales. Personal injuries are still covered by Legal Aid in Scotland. Although personal injury cases do not normally qualify for Legal Aid support, there is some potential for overlap from other cases. For example, Legal Aid can be used to request an inquest into the death of a loved one. If your goal is to highlight negligence or failings, then you may be able to find support from a Legal Aid professional.

No Win, No Fee (Conditional Fee Agreements)

A Conditional Fee agreement is an agreement which states that you will not have to pay the solicitor for their time if they do not win the case for you.  If they do help you to win the case, then you will owe them a pre-arranged percentage of your claim. The cap on the amount that can be claimed by the lawyer as a success fee is 25%. This could be hundreds of thousands of pounds if the claim value is very high. On the other hand, it could be a few hundred pounds if the claim value is low. Make sure that you understand how much the lawyer or claims assessor will be entitled to if the case is successful.

Even if you are using a no win, no fee lawyer, you may still be required to pay other legal costs towards launching the case. This includes things like search fees, expert witness fees and any other expenses that may be incurred as part of a legal battle. In the event of a victory, these fees should be paid by the other side.

The positive thing about conditional fee agreements is that they allow people to have access to legal advice without having to worry about finding any spare funds in the first instance. This is very positive because it allows people to seek immediate advice at a time when they may be in a financially vulnerable position. However, those who make use of No Win, No Fee agreements must be sure that they understand that this is not a risk-free option. If the claimant goes to court and ends up losing the court case, the claimant may still have to make a payment towards the legal fees and expenses of the defendant. A responsible solicitor or claims advisor will talk to their clients about these possibilities. Insurance is available to help claimants to cover these fees if they do lose their case.

More on No Win, No Fee here.