+44 (0)1707 332 498 | general@sullivansltd.co.uk

No Win No Fee

Sullivans Practice Areas

No Win No Fee

If you have had any kind of accident at home or abroad in the last 3 years or if you have suffered medical negligence, we may be able pursue your claim on a No Win No Fee basis. This means that we would work for you on a Conditional Fee Agreement (“CFA”) funded by After the Event Insurance (“ATE”).

We act for Clients who have been involved in minor accidents through to those suffering catastrophic injuries from motor/road accidents, accidents/illness whilst on holiday, slip and trip accidents, product liability claims, medical/clinical negligence etc

What is a ‘No Win, No Fee’ Agreement?

A No Win, No Fee agreement (also known as a Conditional Fee Agreement) is an arrangement between you and your Solicitor which means that if your compensation claim is not successful, your Solicitor is not paid for the work they have done.

We assess your claim on its merits with the information you provide to enable us to determine its likely success rate. This success rate allows us to make a decision as to whether we can take your case on a No Win No Fee basis.

If you win your claim, your Solicitor is paid part of their fees by the other party, typically an insurance company. If you lose, providing you have not misled us, you will not pay anything for our work.

If you win

In cases which are successful, (from April 2013) your solicitor’s fee (“success fee”) will be taken from any compensation you are awarded, up to a maximum of 25% in injury claims (and up to 50% in other types of claims excluding employment claims). This only applies to lump-sum payouts. Any future payouts awarded to you e.g. to provide for future care, are not affected.

If you win you will pay us our normal fees and disbursements/out of pocket expenses such as court fees and medical expert fees and the success fee. A solicitor may sometimes be able to claim its normal legal costs from the losing party (but this does not happen in every case so you may have to pay some or all of our costs) but can now look to you, as a successful claimant, to pay their uplifted fee (which can be up to 100% of their normal costs) also known as a success fee. Solicitors can charge a success fee which is higher than their normal level of fees to reflect their risk in taking the case on a No Win No Fee basis.

The success fee cannot be a percentage of the amount of damages awarded to you/agreed in settlement. The success fee cannot be claimed from the losing party.
The premium for any ATE insurance policy can no longer be claimed from the losing party.

Please note that “winning” is not always cut and dried as you may have won your case overall but have lost certain intermediate proceedings along the way so you may be ordered to pay some of your opponent’s costs. Also, if you reject a Part 36 Offer (offer to settle) and go on to be awarded less than the amount offered, you may be liable for some or all of your opponent’s costs after they have made the offer to settle.

If you lose

If you are unsuccessful and do not have to pay our fees, you may still have to pay your own expenses such as court fees and expert fees e.g. medical reports and similar expenses, and also your opponent’s costs. However, we can arrange ATE insurance to cover the risk that if you lose, you will be liable for the winner’s costs and costs you had to pay to third parties e.g. medical experts. You will not usually have to pay the premium upfront but only when you win in which case it will be deducted from your damages. If you lose you are not usually expected to pay the insurance premium.

In short, if your claim is unsuccessful, we will not be owed any legal fees at the end of the claim i.e. No Win, No Fee.

To find out if you can claim on a ‘No Win, No Fee’ basis call 01707 332 498 or contact us.

Do you Have Legal Expense Insurance?

You may already have legal expense insurance which covers you for the costs of legal advice but may not know it. It is sometimes an additional benefit of your bank account or car or home insurance policy. You will need to check the policy wording as to what advice it covers but it can often be used instead of a ‘No Win, No Fee’ agreement, and is another way of funding your claim. We will discuss this with you as part of our initial instruction.

Bringing a Claim for Personal Injury or Medical Negligence

What is an injury?

Claims for damages for personal injury or medical negligence may be for obvious injuries such as scarring or the loss of a limb but it is also possible to claim for “hidden” harm caused by the accident/negligent act, such as stress, anxiety and depression

Timescale

Claiming compensation, even if your prospects of success are very good, can take anywhere from a number of weeks to a number of years.

If the other party accepts that they are at fault for your accident/injury and agrees that the amount you are claiming is fair, your claim may be settled out of court in a couple months, but if we have to work to determine fault (liability) and if the other party cannot agree the compensation amount, bringing a claim can take years.

If the parties cannot agree on fault or the compensation amount the case may have to go to Court which can take a number of years and involves investigating the evidence (often using expert witnesses), interim court hearings, setting a trial date and giving evidence.

Amount

There are Guidelines published by the Judicial College which help us to value your claim but these are only a starting point and the amount you may claim is affected by the severity of the injury, the duration of the injury and the impact on your employment and on your social/personal life.

Time Limits for bringing a Claim

The sooner you bring a claim the better as your recollection of the event will be clearer. There is a time limit of 3 years from the date of the accident/event in which you must bring your claim or you will lose the right to make a claim.

Steps

With our help the process of making a claim can be broken down into fairly simple steps:

  1. Filing a claim – giving the details of your case to the Court in a Particulars of Claim form, so they can serve the claim upon the negligent party. The court will then contact the other party to let them know you are seeking compensation.
  2. Liability – in many cases, the intention to take action will be enough to make the other party admit negligence and begin the process of negotiating compensation. Our wealth of experience allows us to advise you as to what a fair amount would be.
  3. Court – if the other party does not admit liability/negligence, the claim will have to be decided upon by the Court. This involves you and us presenting the details of your case as clearly as possible to a judge who will then decide if you have been injured through negligence and how much compensation you should receive.

Bringing a claim can be daunting but we offer a friendly and sympathetic service tailored to your specific needs. We are experienced lawyers specialising in winning cases using strategic and tactical methods – we do not rely solely on a legal software programme to run your case.

Pursuing your case on a No Win No Fee basis usually means no upfront fees are to be paid to us so why not contact us for a free initial chat to help us assess how successful your claim may be and whether your claim could qualify.

For cost-effective litigation advice

Call us on +44 (0)1707 332 498 or email us at general@sullivansltd.co.uk