Something that always made me giggle as a lawyer was being asked by potential clients if their personal injury claim would be no win no fee. I would say that as a guesstimate 8 out of 10 people would then ask me to explain the meaning no win no fee. So I thought today I would spend just a little time looking at what no win no fee is and how it works.
The term no win no fee applies to lawyers or solicitors who agree to take on a clients personal injury claim and should they not win their client’s case then the client does not have to pay the lawyer fees. An important factor to take note of is that there are in fact several variations of the no win no fee arrangement, so you would have to ask each lawyer you are talking with what no win no fee terms they specifically apply to their clients.
Do all lawyers work solely on a no win no fee basis?
You have to remember there are different types of lawyer that may specialise only in certain areas of law, and on that basis then the answer is no, not all lawyers offer no win no fee representation. However, most personal injury lawyers do offer no win no fee representation. Criminal law, corporate law, and other types of law practices are more likely not to offer no win, no fee representation.
What risk is involved with no win no fee claims?
Most people that hire a personal injury lawyer usually do so because they assume there are no risks for them in a no win no fee arrangement. The lawyer takes the risk of not getting paid anything if they do not win the case and therefore do not win monetary compensation for their client, but you should always double check the fine print before signing a no win, no fee agreement. Check for any hidden costs or charges, and make sure you know who’s liable for other costs that may be involved whether the case may be won or lost.
In a true no win no fee agreement the lawyer pays for any filing fees, and paperwork fees associated with the case. They pay their office staff, and they invest their time, and efforts, into trying to make the case successful for you. If they are unsuccessful in winning the case then they do not get paid and they will lose all of those working hours and expenses at no cost to their client.
How can lawyers afford to offer no win, no fee cases?
You might think that lawyers that offer to take cases on on a no win no fee basis would lose money, but the truth is those lawyers make money otherwise they would be out of business. Before a personal injury lawyer offers a no win no fee arrangement they will listen carefully to the details that the client has to share. They will evaluate the circumstances of the case, and they will weigh all of the odds up of winning or losing.
When the lawyer offers to take the injury claim on on a no win no fee basis they have to be quite certain that they will win the claim otherwise it could cost them dearly.
A lawyer must be confident in their ability to win a case before accepting it which means they have to learn to judge people, they have to know the laws pertaining to the type of case they are taking on, and they have to know how to present the evidence in court so that it is more likely to win them the case.
Is a no win, no fee claim completely free of charges?
As alluded to above, this depends on the personal injury lawyer. Some lawyers will charge their client for the cost of obtaining things like medical records, and applicable court fees. Some lawyers do not charge anything over their agreed success fee.
Almost all lawyers will provide a free consultation with a potential client and listen to the details of their case. During this free consultation the lawyer should determine if they can take on the case and the probability they have of winning the case. They will explain to the client their opinions on whether the case is going to be hard to win, or relatively easy to win.
The lawyer will explain the way they charge for their services, and they will explain any fees that you might have to pay out of your pocket. Just because you go to a free consultation with a lawyer however does not mean you are obligated to hire that lawyer.
If you do not like their level of confidence, or their fee charges, then you can politely thank them for their time and move on to find another no win no fee lawyer.