No Win, No Fee Claims Explained
When making a personal injury claim for a cycling injury, the most common way to fund a claim is with a 'no win, no fee' arrangement, also known as a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA). This arrangement allows a cyclist to pursue a compensation claim without having to pay any upfront fees or legal costs.
What do I pay if I do not win my claim?
No. Under a no win, no fee agreement, your solicitor will only receive payment if your claim is successful.
If your claim is unsuccessful, the solicitor will not receive any payment at all.
No win, no fee removes the financial risk of pursuing a cycling injury compensation claim, and it ensures that injured cyclists have access to legal representation - regardless of their financial means.
What do I pay if I win my claim?
If your claim is successful, your solicitor will receive a payment in the form of a ‘success fee’. The success fee compensates your solicitor for the risk they take, as they won’t receive a payment if your claim is unsuccessful.
A success fee is a percentage of the compensation award you ultimately receive, meaning that you are never ‘out of pocket’ when making a claim.
You will agree on a percentage success fee with your solicitor before you enter into a Conditional Fee Agreement.
Success fees tend to be around (but never more than) 25%. Success fees are legally capped at 25% to protect claimants from excessive legal fees.
The 25% cap was introduced as part of the Legal Aid, Sentencing, and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012, which aimed to reform the legal system and make it more affordable and accessible for the general public.
Although a success fee would be deducted from your compensation settlement or award, calculating how much compensation you would be left with is not as straightforward as simply deducting 25%.
Following a Court of Appeal ruling, the amount of general damages compensation awarded was increased by 10% for cases funded with a Conditional Fee Agreement. The purpose of the 10% uplift is to offset the impact of the success fee deduction.
No win, no fee example:
If you were injured when your bike was clipped by an overtaking car, it is likely that a solicitor would accept your claim on a no win, no fee basis.
In the following example, you have entered into a Conditional Fee Agreement with your solicitor and agreed on a success fee of 25%:
|General Damages Compensation Award
(including 10% uplift)
|Special Damages Compensation award
(e.g. loss of earrings, new bike etc.)
|Total Compensation Award||£52,000|
|Less Solicitor Success Fee (@25%)||£13,000|
|Total compensation you receive||£39,000|
Could there be any other costs?
If you win a no win no fee claim, you may be liable for certain additional costs. While the defendant will be required to contribute to your legal fees if your claim succeeds, they may not have to pay all of the costs.
You may, therefore, be responsible for the balance of any costs and expenses that are not recovered from the defendant.
Examples of these expenses could include the cost of medical reports, and the cost of legal protection insurance (if required).
Once your solicitor receives the compensation settlement, they will deduct the total success fee, costs, and expenses figure before distributing the rest to you.
Your solicitor will always outline and discuss all associated costs and fees with you at the start of the process.
Are there any alternatives to no win, no fee?
Legal Aid is no longer available for personal injury claims and the vast majority of personal injury claims are funded with a no win no fee agreement.
If you prefer to fund your own case (self-financing), you could negotiate a flat fee with your solicitor, or even pay them on an hourly rate. This is not a popular choice, however, as you would have to pay the legal fees even if you lose your case. You would also have to pay the fees and costs incurred by the defendant if you lose.
Legal Protection Insurance
You may have legal injury insurance cover in place, perhaps as part of your home or motor policy. This is certainly an option, however your insurer may require you to use a specific solicitor. You should make sure that you fully understand the implications of using your insurance provider's preferred solicitor.
When selecting your own (independent) solicitor, you can be confident that your solicitor will act solely in your best interests. By choosing your own solicitor, you avoid the risk of having a solicitor who is dependent on an ongoing stream of work from an insurer. This independence can help to ensure that your solicitor is not commercially compromised and can focus solely on achieving the best outcome for you.
Trade Union Funding
Some Trade Unions protect their members with legal protection insurance. If you are a member of a trade union, you should consult with your representative to see whether you are covered for making an injury claim.