What are the solicitor's fees for a cycling injury claim?
Most personal injury solicitors get paid on a conditional fee basis, commonly known as "No Win, No Fee." If your claim is successful, then the majority of your solicitor's fees will be paid by the other side.
In addition, a solicitor will typically charge a success fee. This is an extra amount which is deducted from your compensation - although it can be no more than 25% of the damages awarded.
Under a Conditional Fee Agreement, you will not pay any fees if the claim is unsuccessful. The solicitor will not earn any money at all if you lose.
What does this mean for the solicitor?
Personal injury solicitors usually will only agree to work under a Conditional Fee Agreement if you have a strong chance of winning your claim. When you contact a solicitor, they will do a detailed evaluation of the merits of your case to determine whether the claim is worth pursuing.
If a solicitor does agree to proceed on a No Win, No Fee basis, you can be confident that your risk of losing is low, based on the information provided. The solicitor is reasonably confident that you will be awarded an amount of compensation - and that they will also get paid.
How much will a solicitor deduct from my compensation?
When signing a Conditional Fee Agreement, make sure that you understand what the percentage success fee will be before you proceed with your claim. This fee could be the maximum 25% of the damages recovered in the personal injury claim. Some solicitors work on lower success fees, allowing claimants to retain more of their compensation.
Suppose, for example, that you hit a pothole in the road, causing you to come off your bike. You sustain a minor neck injury, together with some cuts and bruises.
The Highway Authority admits liability and agrees to pay damages of £1,200 for pain and suffering. They also agree pay a further £800 to cover the cost of a repayment bike and additional travel costs.
Until this point, your solicitor has received no money. After the case is closed, the solicitor will be entitled to recover legal fees of £500 from the defendant. This £500, however, is less than the total fees they have incurred working on your claim. The solicitor may also charge you up to the maximum success fee of 25%. You pay this money out of your award or settlement.