What is a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA)?
The most common way for injured cyclists to fund a personal injury claim is with a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA), which is also commonly known as a ‘no win, no fee' agreement.
A CFA is a legal agreement between you and your solicitor that states that you will not have to pay any upfront costs for legal representation, and that your solicitor's legal fees will only be payable if your claim is successful. In other words, if you do not win your claim, you will not be required to pay your solicitor's fees.
CFAs were introduced in the UK as part of the Access to Justice Act, with the aim of making it easier for all people, regardless of their means, to pursue a personal injury claim without financial risk.
Before CFA’s were introduced, many people could not afford to pay the high costs of legal representation, and that this often deterred people from seeking compensation for their injuries.
How Does a CFA Work?
Under a CFA, your solicitor will receive payment if your claim is successful, and their fees will be payable as a ‘success’ fee’ percentage of your compensation settlement. Success fees are capped, by law, at 25% of your compensation settlement or award.
If your claim is successful, your solicitor's fees will be paid by the party who is liable for your accident (the defendant), either through their insurance company or out of their own pocket. In addition to your solicitor’s legal fees, you may also be able to recover other costs associated with your claim, such as medical expenses, damage to your bike, and travel costs.
While a CFA can remove the financial risk of pursuing a personal injury claim, it does not guarantee that you will receive compensation. Your solicitor will assess the strength of your case before agreeing to represent you on a no win, no fee basis.
If your solicitor believes that your claim has a good chance of success, they will agree to take on your case under a CFA. Your solicitor will then work on your behalf to gather evidence, negotiate with the other party's insurers and ensure that you receive the compensation you are entitled to.
If your claim is successful, your solicitor's success fee will be deducted from your compensation settlement.
You should discuss the terms of the CFA (along with any other terms and conditions) with your solicitor before agreeing to proceed with your claim. Your solicitor should explain the terms of the agreement in clear, easy-to-understand language and answer any questions you may have about the process.