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What Happens If I Lose My Personal Injury Claim?

Practically all personal injury claims today are processed under a ‘no win, no fee’ agreement, or Conditional Fee Agreements as they are known within the legal industry. So for the sake of clarity, this article will focus on what will happen if you lose a ‘no win, no fee’ personal injury claim.

What is no win, no fee?
No win, no fee agreements were introduced in 1990 by the Courts and Legal Services Act, but it wasn’t until 1995 that the no win, no fee scheme was introduced to courts in England and Wales. ‘No win, no fee’ is a legal term that refers to a feature of Conditional Fee Agreements, a feature that stipulates that should a claim not win, then there’s no fee. No win, no fee was introduced to level the legal playing field for people in the UK. The thought behind the scheme’s introduction was that it would give everybody access to justice.

What happens if my no win, no fee claim loses?

If you lose your personal injury claim under a ‘no win, no fee’ agreement, then you won’t have to pay your own solicitor’s fees. You will not rack up a legal bill from your own legal representatives. However, you may still be liable for the other side’s costs. These costs will be billable to you, because the other side has to cover their own representation. This is common practice in the legal industry, and it is the biggest risk you take when making a no win, no fee claim. However, there is a way to eradicate your risk – insurance.

That insurance is called After the Event (ATE) insurance. It exists to protect a claimant who must pay the defendant when their claim is unsuccessful. The vast majority of law firms and solicitors today make it compulsory that you take out such a policy. Such policies are expensive, however the cost of an ATE policy (the premium) is only usually payable if your claim wins. It is deducted from your settlement figure, so the cost never hits your pocket, and it is very rare you have to pay a premium if your claim loses.

So, is it worth making a claim?

While there is always the risk of your claim losing, a claims advisor or solicitor will only recommend you make a claim, if they believe you have a strong case for compensation. The process for personal injury claims is complex but an experienced solicitor will be able to get you a fair and proportionate settlement usually within 6-8 weeks. It’s also important to keep in mind that you are legally entitled to make a claim if you have been injured through no fault of your own. So don’t be put off making a claim for financial compensation.
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