Funding a Personal Injury Claim
We appreciate that our clients often worry about funding their claim. There many types of claim under personal injury law and there are different ways to fund them. We discuss the different methods of funding a claim at our initial interview with you. To help you get an idea of how funding works, we have provided a summary below:
Conditional Fee Agreement also known as ‘No Win No Fee’
You will almost certainly know about ‘no win no fee’ agreements thanks to the television and radio. A ‘no win no fee’ agreement means that we will not charge our fees if your claim is unsuccessful. However, you might still have to pay for the expenses we incur during your case if your claim is not successful. These expenses including things like obtaining medical records and medical expert evidence. You might also have to pay the costs of initial investigations to assess your case if it relates to clinical negligence. In addition, there are circumstances when you could be liable for the Defendant’s costs. The Courts, for example, will consider this if the claim is exaggerated or dishonest.
You can take out an insurance policy to protect yourself against paying these costs and expenses. You will need to pay a premium for this policy. It is only paid by you if the case succeeds.
We will discuss all details relating to the conditional fee agreement and insurance policy at the first interview.
Barratts Solicitors have a Legal Aid Franchise. However, Legal Aid is now only available in limited Clinical Negligence cases and is not available for Personal Injury. It is also sometimes possible to get funding for an inquest.
You can receive Legal Aid for your Clinical Negligence case if it involves severe disability as a result of a neurological injury during pregnancy, childbirth or within the first 8 weeks of life. The majority of these cases involve babies receiving too little oxygen during child birth. Lack of oxygen can lead to cerebral palsy.
We will assess your child’s financial position as this affects your eligibility for Legal Aid. The Legal Aid Agency also considers the merits of the claim. As clinical negligence solicitors, we have to be able to show that your claim has good prospects of success. We must also show that you are likely to receive more money in compensation than the costs we will incur in pursuing your claim (i.e. that it is “proportionate”).
Qualified One-Way Cost Shifting
Qualified One Way Cost Shifting means that should you lose your case against the Defendant(s) you will not be responsible for payment of the Defendant’s costs. However, there are exceptions to this rule, for example dishonest or fraudulent claims, and these will be explained to you at the first interview.
Legal Expenses Insurance (Legal Protection)
Legal expense insurance can be found on most insurance policies such as home contents/buildings insurance and vehicle insurance. Some people are not always aware that they have this benefit.
We will always ask you to bring to the first interview any insurance policies you hold so we can check for legal expense insurance. If you do have this benefit we will contact the insurers and ask if they will fund the claim.
If you are a Union Member, the Trade Union may cover the cost of pursuing your claim.
Our specialist clinical negligence solicitors will talk to you in detail about the funding options at your initial interview.