No Win No Fee Claims

How to make a claim & hire a solicitor

Learn what exactly No Win No Fee is and how to hire the right solicitor for your compensation claim.

This guide is aimed to help give information to those wishing to pursue a conditional fee claim. Your lawyer/law firm will advise of any possible costs and recoup them by taking it from any compensation awarded. However if you lose you may still be liable for the expenses such as court fees which you should discuss with your legal representation.

No Win No Fee Solicitors

Many people in the UK need lawyers to protect their rights, get money for injuries, deal with employers or investigate medical malpractice cases, but they often fail to hire them because they don’t understand their rights or can’t afford legal fees. In many cases, people can hire solicitors on a now win no fee or conditional basis, and the solicitor only charges a fee if he or she wins the case.

Reasons for Hiring a Lawyer

In the UK, personal injury claims include accidents in the workplace, traffic mishaps, work-related illnesses, slips and falls, medical negligence and malpractice, and mental issues caused by negligence or malign intent. Other cases that lawyers might accept on a contingency basis include recovering money lost in financial crimes, environmental damage claims, product liability, class actions, PPI claims and other situations. You can always schedule a free consultation with most contingency law firms to discuss your case and see if it qualifies. In general, if you stand to gain a substantial sum by winning your case and the lawyer thinks you have a good cause for action, then the solicitor will usually accept the case on a conditional basis.

Your CFA Defines the Terms

Once a solicitor agrees to take your case, he or she will draft a conditional fee agreement or CFA that spells out the payment details. Sometimes, you could be charged for certain expenses incurred in your case, so review the document and terms carefully before hiring the firm. You might have to pay a success surcharge out of any award or settlement you receive. In years past, lawyers’ fees and success charges were added to a defendant's bill, but success fees and some expenses must now come from the client’s award and can cost up to 25% of the amount.

Understanding Your Rights and Risks

Time limits apply to many injury and compensation cases, so initiating fast action is essential to ensure your rights. It is also important to investigate cases before witnesses forget what happened or physical evidence disappears. This guide to no win no fee lawyers representation and claims will help you understand your rights, risks, obligations and options for getting compensated for injuries, professional malpractice, unfair employment practices and financial crimes.

How Does It Work?

Lawyers might accept working on a conditional basis for any type of case except family law matters and criminal cases, but the strength of your case, potential compensation and possible expenses of investigating and prosecuting the case will influence whether a solicitor agrees to take the case. Your lawyer will draft a conditional fee agreement upon accepting the case, and you will only be charged a fee if your case results in a financial award or settlement. These conditional arrangements protect you from the following risks:

  • Lawyers not giving your case the attention it deserves
  • Defendants having little motive to settle
  • Legal and investigating expenses that you cannot afford
  • Complicated cases that take months or years to resolve so that defendants let matters drop

Savings and Costs

When using a solicitor to pursue no win no fee claims you save up-front costs with conditional representation, but you could be liable for court costs and legal fees if your case fails, depending on the terms of your CFA. Some lawyers charge a success fee to compensate them for handling unsuccessful cases, and prior to April of 2013, the defendant was required to pay these charges. Reforms designed to eliminate abuses of the legal system now require that you pay certain expenses and fees including success fees from your award or settlement. However, the defendant must still pay your lawyer’s regular fee for representing you if you win the case.

You can buy after-the-event or ATE insurance cover to pay any expenses of your case so that you have no out-of-pocket expenses if you lose and no deductions from your award or settlement if you win. You can even defer your premiums until the end of the case. If successful, the premiums are deducted from your award; if unsuccessful, you pay nothing because the cover is self-insuring.

How Conditional Cases Work

No Win No Fee Process Flow Chart

The solicitor takes most of the risk in conditional cases, and he or she might not be paid for working on your behalf. A success fee or uplift helps to compensate lawyers for unsuccessful cases, but not all solicitors charge these fees.

The most common cases involve medical negligence, vehicle accidents, workplace injures, slips and falls and defective products. Some solicitors offer conditional arrangements across several practice areas while others reserve this fee structure exclusively for personal injury cases. A typical case follows this outline:

  1. After sustaining an injury or experiencing a legal dispute, you seek to hire a lawyer on a conditional basis.
  2. The lawyer will review your case and decide whether to accept it.
  3. A CFA will define the terms. You will not have to pay fees and costs if you lose the case, but you could be liable for solicitor fees and court costs of the defendant.
  4. ATE insurance, Legal Aid and loans from the law firm can cover these expenses in unsuccessful cases.
  5. Even simple cases that settle take time to process, so expect to wait at least 8–12 weeks for an out-of-court settlement.
  6. Most accident claims and personal injury cases have time limits of three years or less for filing legal action, so you should pursue your case quickly.
  7. If you win your case, you might be responsible for certain legal fees and expenses, which are deducted from your award, but ATE insurance can pay these costs.
  8. If you lose, you owe your lawyer nothing but might need to pay court costs and the defendant's legal fees, but ATE insurance cover protects you from this risk.

The first step is gathering the relevant facts of your case and finding a solicitor who handles conditional cases. Chapter 5 deals with how to choose a solicitor and prepare your case, but you should first understand the recent changes enacted by Parliament, your chances for success and how to get help for matters that don't qualify for conditional representation.

Recent Changes in Applicable Laws

Parliament recently passed the Legal Aid, Sentencing & Punishment of Offenders Act of 2012, and Part 2 deals with legal aid funding, providing more funding for arbitration, encouraging alternative methods of resolving legal disputes, abolishing the Legal Services Commission and limiting the amount lawyers can recover in success fee surcharges. The common practice of paying referral fees has been abolished to limit frivolous cases and those without legal merit.

What these changes mean for you is that you might have to pay your lawyer’s success fee out of your award or settlement. If you lose your case, there are now limits on the amount you would need to pay for the defendant’s legal bills, which must be reasonable and proportionate. For example, if you are looking to recover £5,000, it is not reasonable be charged £20,000 in legal fees if you lose the case. In personal injury cases, you would usually not be liable for a defendant’s legal fees.

  • After-the-event insurance cover pays the legal and success fees that you might have to pay.
  • Recovery limits on a defendant’s legal fees will eliminate the need for many claimants to buy ATE insurance.
  • You will have to pay ATE premiums yourself, but this fact is expected to generate more competitively priced premiums.

The changes in the law are designed to make arbitration more attractive and prevent frivolous and speculative claims by using conditional lawyers. Claimants could lose much of their awards to insurance and success fees, and many cases take years to resolve, so minor accident claims might not be worth pursuing.

On the positive side, Parliament increased the amount you can recover for non-pecuniary damages by 10%. These damages include pain and suffering and loss of amenity. Lawyers may not charge more than 25% of the award amount for success fees, and these fees cannot be based on money that is awarded for future care and loss. The 25% success fee limit applies to personal injury cases, but lawyers can charge up to 35% of the award amount in employment tribunal cases and up to 50% in other types of cases.

Another common type of case involves damages-based agreements where lawyers take a percentage of awards in civil litigation and employment tribunals. In personal injury cases, you will probably not be liable for the defendant’s legal fees, but that could change if any of the following conditions apply:

  • You are filing a frivolous claim without reasonable grounds.
  • You try to obstruct proceedings or encourage another party to do so.
  • You are found likely to have filed a fundamentally dishonest claim.
  • You try to abuse the legal process.

Make sure that you understand which fee structure applies in your case and what the prospects for getting an award are. Of course, your lawyer will help you assess your chances of success. Your case might prove untenable or too risky for a CFA, but you could recover damages through alternative methods of adjudicating claims or financial assistance for paying standard legal fees.

Free Legal Advice and Help for Other Legal Matters

Solicitor offering free legal advice

Most lawyers offer free consultations, so you can discuss your case in detail before proceeding with filing a claim. An experienced lawyer will help you understand your best legal options, investigate your case and advise you about whether you are entitled to damages. If your case doesn’t qualify for a conditional arrangement, your lawyer can help you apply for financial assistance, find alternative legal options like mediation or employment tribunals or recommend a barrister or specialised solicitor.

Possible areas where you might qualify for conditional fees other than accidents, injuries, malpractice and defective products include:

  • Libel and slander cases
  • Immigration problems
  • Sexual harassment
  • Estate issues
  • Real estate deals
  • Business litigation
  • Cases of fraud
  • Environmental law

You Might Already Have Legal Expense Insurance

Many bank accounts and insurance policies include cover for legal expenses of which you might be unaware. Before-the-event insurance can often fund your claim or pay for detailed legal advice, arbitration, PPI claims or employment tribunals.

Options don't have insurance, property or resources to pay for a lawyer and don’t qualify for a CFA, other financing options depend on where you live.

England and Wales

The Crown determines if you qualify for legal aid in noncriminal cases in England and Wales through its online website GOV.UK. You could also qualify for aid from private organisations like The National Pro Bono Centre, which is a clearinghouse for various legal charities.

The Citizens Advice Bureau helps you get legal representation if you qualify. Types of aid include legal advice, making a will, help at Court, family law, legal help with housing and debt problems and representation at tribunals.

Northern Ireland

The Legal Services Agency Northern Ireland administers publicly funded legal services and determines if you qualify for civil legal aid. You might qualify for free legal help or pay only a small percentage of your legal fees. Funded by Advice and Assistance, Criminal Legal Aid and Civil Legal Aid, the agency was formerly called The Northern Ireland Legal Services Commission.

Scotland

The Scottish Legal Aid Board offers civil legal aid to people who have low incomes and few financial resources. You can get legal advice or money for a lawyer to handle a civil case. Qualifying cases include:

  1. Divorce and family law matters
  2. Compensation for injuries and medical malpractice or negligence
  3. Housing matters
  4. Immigration and asylum issues
  5. Power of attorney

Regardless of whether you qualify for a CFA, you can still get financial help for pursuing civil legal options by scheduling a meeting with a lawyer who handles conditional fee claims. This help includes settling matters in or out of Court.

Success Rates for No Win No Fee Claims

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Predicting results for general claims is impossible because each case is different, but conditional arrangement cases have several distinct advantages for people making claims. Lawyers work hard because they do not get paid unless they win these cases. Your solicitor will work for you no matter how long the case takes, and you have no up-front costs or ongoing expenses that force you to drop the case.

Factors that help your claim include bearing no partial blame for the accident, injury or misunderstanding, staying calm and organised and finding witnesses to corroborate your interpretation of the event. It also helps if the defendant has reliability or credibility issues, a history of criminal behaviour or an uncooperative, violent or belligerent attitude.

You can improve your chances, convince a lawyer to take your case and get higher compensation by preparing your case thoroughly before you even see a lawyer. Start a notebook or journal, and record the following information as completely as possible:

  1. Get contact information of the party against whom you’re making a legal claim.
  2. Record the location, date, time and details of any incidents or accidents relevant to the case.
  3. Try to get contact information of any witnesses.
  4. If the event caused you or other people medical problems, list the hospital or clinic, emergency room number, attending physician and other particulars.
  5. Get contact information and details of each medical or psychological treatment.
  6. Include information about personal insurance cover and the defendant’s insurance if possible.
  7. If a report was made to a constable, police station or Scotland Yard, get a copy of the accident or collision form.
  8. Gather all bills, receipts and information on lost wages, travel expenses, car hires and other expenses.
  9. Document any property damage related to the case.
  10. Describe all symptoms, deficiencies and weaknesses that you’ve noticed since the accident or injury.

Being organised and professional increases your chances of getting a favourable outcome. Preliminary gathering and sorting of your case’s particulars not only put the facts where you can refer to them easily but also convince a solicitor that you are a responsible person and a good risk for potential lawyers.

How To Choose No Win No Fee Solicitors

Choosing a solicitor

Choosing a lawyer should never depend solely on whether he or she offers to represent you on a conditional basis. You should perform what is called due diligence when looking for a solicitor just as you would if you were paying the bill up-front. Research potential lawyers, interview several and choose a lawyer based on what type of CFA he or she offers and the lawyer’s experience in the legal area in which you’re filing a claim.

You also want to research the lawyer’s professional affiliations, study any available biographical information and run a search on the solicitor to determine whether he or she publishes blog posts or expert articles. Check the Legal Complaints Service to find out if former clients have filed any complaints.

  • Check references, FAQ sections and the lawyer’s history of winning trials.
  • Ask friends and associates if they have heard any information about the solicitor.
  • Check professional organisations to find out whether the lawyer has accreditations.
  • Ask a lawyer that you have used or met for his or her impressions.

Professional Affiliations

The Law Society, which you can find out about here, represents lawyers in Wales and England and accredits solicitors who have demonstrated competence and a high standard of legal expertise and ethics. These honours are awarded for handling medical and negligence cases and personal injuries. Other associations that reflect well on jurists include:

  • The Association of Personal Injury Lawyers
  • International Bar Association
  • Sports Law Assn
  • Human Rights Lawyers Assn
  • Family Law Assn
  • Social Housing Law Assn
  • Environmental Law Assn
  • Bar Council of England and Wales
  • Faculty of Advocates (Scotland)
  • The Law Society of Northern Ireland
  • The Employment Law Assn

Memberships in organisations and accreditations tell you much about what areas of law a firm handles, its preferred clients and what personal interests its staff member have.

Narrow Your Search

You should conduct some preliminary research to narrow your choices to two or three candidates. Schedule an appointment with each lawyer to discuss your case, find out what kind of CFA the firm offers and whether you have a personal rapport with the person who will represent you. Remember that conditional lawyers often insist on conducting cases in their own ways because they don’t get paid if they fail.

Meeting with Potential Solicitors

Prepare a checklist for hiring a lawyer before attending your first meeting. This information will help to guide your questions and let the solicitor know that you have given serious thought to your case. You should also prepare your case and answers to the lawyer’s questions because you are essentially selling your case when you seek a conditional arrangement.

Checklist for Hiring Solicitors

It’s important to choose a lawyer with the right kind of litigation experience. The following checklist will help you sort questions to assess the person who will act as lawyer for your interests:

  • Will the person you meet handle the case, or will it be passed to another staff member?
  • How much will the lawyer charge, and will there be a success fee?
  • Has the solicitor ever had client complaints or legal suits brought against him or her?
  • Does the lawyer specialise in personal injuries, medical malpractice, business matters or employment law?
  • Which financing options other than a CFA does the firm offer?
  • Ask how long it takes for the lawyer to return phone calls.
  • Find out what approach or philosophy the lawyer uses when representing clients. Some are aggressive, some professional and others are amicable.
  • Find out if there are other ways to solve your legal issues.
  • Ask how long the lawyer has practised and what awards or special training he or she has received.
  • Does the lawyer recommend arbitration or mediation?
  • How long does the lawyer estimate it will take to resolve the case?
  • What are the possible outcomes?

Personal chemistry between you and your lawyer is important in a working relationship that could last for years. No matter how qualified or intelligent a lawyer may be, if you are uncomfortable with the person, you should carefully consider finding a more agreeable choice.

Good communications and prompt answers to questions are also important. If it takes several days to get answers, you could become frustrated and unhappy.p>

Preparing for a Solicitor’s Questions

Preparing to answer questions from your lawyer depends on being prepared. You should prepare a journal, spreadsheet or organized notes with information about your case, witnesses, insurance information, medical treatments, receipts, accident photos, injury photos and police reports.

Ideally, your case’s triggering event should have occurred within the last three years and affected you personally. However, in cases with extenuating circumstances, the Court might allow exceptions out of time. If you have power of attorney for another person or represent minor children, you can engage a lawyer for someone else.

The primary questions that your lawyer will want answered are:

  • Are you the victim of someone’s negligence or malice?
  • Is the other person or legal entity at fault?
  • What are the details of the injury or transgression?
  • Did someone break the law and cause you harm?
  • Did you contribute to the harm or injury in any way?

Only about 5% of claims end in Court, but your lawyer always proceeds as if Court is inevitable. Questions you may be asked could prove embarrassing or intrusive, but your solicitor needs the answers to these questions.

Checklist of Questions Your Solicitor May Ask

Your solicitor may ask about any many seemingly unrelated issues, depending on your claim and whether personal relationships are involved. The solicitor will usually ask about contributory negligence, which means you bear some responsibility for the accident or injury. If this is true, it might make your case harder to prove or reduce your award if you win the case.

Other questions include examples from the list that follows, so it’s a good idea to prepare answers for any of these that are applicable to your case.

  1. Do you have or did you have injuries?
    Are the injuries visible or internal? Did you see a physician? What are the details of all your medical visits? Are there photographs to document the injuries? Did a constable file an accident or collision form or report, and do you have a copy?
  2. What took place, and are there witnesses?
    What evidence do you have that the accident occurred and the defendant was at fault? Do you have police confirmation, pictures, insurance reports, photos of the scene and written details of what happened? Are there witnesses to the event, and do you have contact details?
  3. Are there medical records to support any internal injuries?
    Medical records to confirm that internal injuries exist are essential. You need records, invoices and receipts for every procedure, test or diagnosis.
  4. Describe your pain, treatment and prognosis.
    You can claim damages for pain and suffering, but you can’t simply state that you suffered pain but must provide some evidence by having sought treatment, lost work or been unable to perform your normal routines.
  5. Has there been any emotional trauma that caused lost work, visits to a mental health professional or social and sexual withdrawal?
    Reflect on any anger, feelings that you’re not in control, humiliation, frustration, fear, defeat or sadness. Were friends or family members injured or killed in the accident? Have you become afraid to drive after an accident? Have you sought treatment or counselling or missed work due to mental problems or depression?
  6. Are you no longer able to perform certain physical activities?
    Do common chores cause pain, or are you no longer able to cook, clean, garden, pursue a hobby, meet the physical requirements of your job or play a musical instrument? Your lawyer will take a lot of time exploring the losses and effects that an accident or injury causes.
  7. Did you contribute to the accident in any way by your actions or failing to take actions to avoid the accident?
    Defendants often admit that accidents were their fault but suggest that the claimants contributed to the damages. Known as contributory negligence, this finding would reduce your compensation. If the defendant claims contributory negligence, do you have evidence or witnesses to show that you did everything that a reasonable person would do under the circumstances?
  8. If someone died, do you have a copy of the Death Certificate and Grant of Probate?
    You need to verify every fact with legal documentation, even seemingly minor or inconsequential issues that bear on the case. You might not have everything you need during your consultation, but you, the lawyer or an investigator will eventually need to gather these documents and proofs.
  9. Did the event or job cause any ongoing health problems, disabilities or a work-related illness?
    Asbestos-related diseases, contact dermatitis, deafness, respiratory problems and other maladies can get you compensation, but you will need a medical report, examination and reasonable proof of causation.
  10. For product liability, do you have receipts and physical possession of the offending product?
    You will need the product or receipt to confirm ownership, and you will need to describe and document the damages. If the product caused an injury, you will also need the information described in the previous sections.
  11. Do you have documents, receipts and medical records?
    Documentation of as many of the facts of the case as possible will strengthen your case.Your lawyer might require that you submit to a medical exam of his or her choosing or investigate further before accepting the case. This is a common practice in these types of cases because the lawyer is taking a risk by representing you conditionally and getting paid only if the case is won.

Personal Injury Claims

Personal Injury Personal injury claims can be simple or difficult to prove. If the person admits fault in an injury or accident, you still must prove that the negligence caused you a physical or mental injury, damaged property or caused you a hardship. You can only receive compensation from a personal injury if another party, defective product or unsafe condition bears some or the entire fault.

Choose a Law Firm with a Good Record of Winning Cases

Experience is more important in personal injury cases than in many legal areas. Personal injury cases can be complex because a lawyer needs some medical knowledge, experience in estimating damages, knowledge of professional experts and consultants who might need to testify for clients and support services from a team of legal assistants in complex cases. Choose a lawyer or firm with a strong record of winning cases.

What Is a Personal Injury?

Personal injuries can be physical trauma, psychological problems, diseases, illnesses, or a limit or your abilities. Common types of personal injuries include:

  • Slips and falls
  • Motor vehicle accidents
  • Psychological injuries caused by mental and/or physical abuse
  • Work-related accidents or illnesses
  • Death
  • Problems caused by medications or hospital treatments
  • Physical or mental injuries caused by harassment or discrimination
  • Injuries caused by goods and services
  • Boating or flying injuries
  • Malicious physical abuse
  • A criminal injury such as physical attacks and hate crimes
  • Domestic violence
  • Dog attacks
  • Crowd-generated injuries in clubs, concerts and stadiums
  • Whiplash injuries from various causes
  • Taxicab, bus and train mishaps and accidents
  • Motorcycle and bicycle accidents
  • Sports and gym-related activities
  • Burns and scalding
  • Falling objects from buildings

If you experience workplace, traffic, public or private injuries, you should try to document your case by reporting the event to your supervisor, calling the local police and reporting the incident to an insurance company. If injured, see a medical professional, even if the injury seems minor.

  • Minor injuries could escalate into conditions that are more serious or cause symptoms that are not immediately noticed.
  • Any compensation you receive depends on substantiating your injury with a physician.
  • Taking photos or videos and labelling them carefully is also highly recommended in personal injury cases.
  • Try to get contact information from any witnesses to an accident or injury.

The Personal Injury Claims Process

The claims, settlement and trial process follows a certain form. You usually ask for more than you think you will get and haggle and compromise. Most cases settle because only about 5% of claims make it to Court. If you cannot agree, you go to Court to resolve the case.

Judges award damages or financial compensation for medical expenses, lost work, pain and suffering and any losses of your normal abilities. These are classified as general damages, and the Court compensates you based on a sliding scale based on the seriousness of the injury. Both solicitors and judges use The Judicial Studies Board Guidelines that are updated every year to estimate or set damages.

Special damages are sometimes awarded when injuries result in financial losses in the future. These losses include ongoing medical treatments and therapies, costs of drugs and medicine and loss of earning power.

The Legal Process

Once you decide to hire a lawyer, the firm will send you a Letter of Engagement. Likely defendant or defendants will be identified, and the firm will send each of them a Letter of Claim. The defendants have up to 21 days to acknowledge receipt of the letter and three months to investigate the accident at which time they might make an offer to settle the case.

  1. If the defendant offers to settle the claim according to standard Civil Procedure Rules, you must decide whether to accept or not.
  2. If you don’t accept the settlement and become deadlocked in negotiations or the three-year rule is about to expire, your solicitor will issue a Notice of Issue of Court Proceedings.
  3. Time limits for acknowledging the Court date and sharing information apply.
  4. Once defendants have all the evidence, they might make new settlement offers.
  5. If the case remains deadlocked, you will go to Court to present your case.

Most personal injury claims result from some sort of negligence at work, on the road, in public places or at home. The negligence could be due to faulty products, unsafe conditions, driver mistakes, lack of safety equipment, faulty equipment or materials, or improper or inadequate training.

Accident Claims

Potential Whiplash Injury

Most accidents happen because of negligence instead of malicious intent. Accidents happen at home, work, school, hospitals, clinics, universities and public places. Sometimes, they are caused by clumsiness, bad weather or acts of God, but most reasons for accident claims are caused by negligence. Traffic accidents (RTAs) are the most common injuries, but you can get compensation for other types of injuries, even if they are only minor problems. If you contributed to the accident, you could still qualify for compensation. Typical causes of negligence include improper driving, unsafe equipment or conditions, and workplace tasks that you were required to do that were unsafe, too demanding or beyond your level of training.

Whiplash Claims

About 40% of whiplash victims don’t pursue compensation via accident claims because they think that their neck pain is normal after experiencing a minor accident or fender-bender. Many people also worry about appearing as fraudsters because many crooks and cheaters use whiplash for insurance scams.

Whiplash is a severe condition that causes headaches, stiffness and neck pain, making it difficult to stand, work or move normally. One study conducted by the NHS found that whiplash victims continue having symptoms for up to one year after an injury. Any sudden movement of the head in any direction can stretch ligaments and tendons, causing the condition known as whiplash.

Rear-end Collisions

The most common reason that people seek damages for whiplash is low-speed rear-end collisions. British traffic jams tend to cause these kinds of accidents and injuries, and some crooks arrange relatively mild accidents to take advantage of the fact that having whiplash is hard to prove or disprove. Other people capitalise on simple accidents to get money. However, you should not let a few dishonest people keep you from pursuing a legitimate injury claim.

People sometimes don’t notice whiplash immediately but become aware of the pain and stiffness hours or days after an accident. For this reason, you should always document and report an accident, get checked by a doctor and keep your options open for filing a claim.

Whiplash and Upper-body Injury Awards

You could receive a substantial award for a whiplash injury, even if you have no other symptoms. The following chart shows the typical award for various degrees of whiplash and upper-body injuries:

Judicial Studies Board Guidelines for Whiplash Claims
Type of Injury Bodily Injury Symptoms Area Affected Degree of Pain Minimum Award Maximum Award
Permanent spastic quadriparesis or incomplete paraplegia Limited neck movement and severe headaches Neck Severe Usually settles around the maximum award amount £97,500
Various and multiple disabilities Severe injuries that cause physical disabilities Neck Severe £43,000 £86,000
A significant disability Irreparable damage to soft tissues Neck Severe Usually settles around the maximum award amount £36,000
Fractures and dislocations Marks on skin, vulnerability to further trauma and limited movement Neck Moderate £9,000 £16,400
Limitation of movement Recurring pain, discomfort and possible need for surgery Neck Moderate £5,150 £9,000
Back injuries caused by neck trauma Near paralysis and impotence and/or incontinence Back Severe £66,000 £110,000
Fractures Impaired agility, arthritis, and makes victims unemployable Back Severe £25,500 £45,750
Residual back injury Less severe than fractures but debilitating and painful Back Moderate £18,250 £25,500
Damage to brachial plexus and shoulder pain attributable to a neck injury Pain and movement problems that result in a severe disability Shoulder Severe £12,600 £31,500
Restricted shoulder movement Pain in neck and shoulders and sensory symptoms Shoulder Serious £8,400 £12,600
Frozen shoulder Shoulder freezes periodically, and symptoms continue up to two years Shoulder Moderate £5,150 £8,400

Other facts about whiplash that you should know include:

  • Cars are designed to absorb shocks, and people brace themselves for head-on collisions. Low-speed bumps from behind catch you unaware. Your seat belt protects your body, but your head is likely to absorb the force of the collision.
  • Whiplash is hard to diagnose and treat because it presents various symptoms and degrees of severity.
  • The rise in whiplash claims occurs mostly in major cities Like London, Manchester, Birmingham and Glasgow where increased traffic causes extreme road congestion that results in whiplash injuries.

Don’t be afraid to pursue your claim for compensation if you have been injured, even if the pain seems minor. Whiplash symptoms can become worse or even debilitating over time, so don’t miss your opportunity to file a claim by failing to report or document an accident.

Accident At Work

Accident at work

Your accident claim for compensation could result from a motoring accident, slip, trip or fall, general home or public accident, or an accident at work. Road traffic accidents are the most common, and insurance cover usually provides adequate compensation. However, if an uninsured or underinsured motorist is responsible for your injury, you can file a road traffic compensation claim.

Work injuries include an astonishing range of mishaps, work-related illnesses and gradual losses of physical abilities. Examples an accident at work include:

  • Carpal tunnel syndrome from computer and repetitive work
  • Back and spinal injuries from lifting
  • Scaffolding accidents
  • Industrial deafness
  • Diseases like black lung, deafness and mesothelioma
  • Forklift accidents
  • Burns and cuts

You can also get compensation for claims when you are in the military by pursuing negligence compensation claims against the Ministry of Defence.

Limits of Filing for Compensation

Regardless of the cause of an accident, you need to file an injury claim within the allotted time of three years. This date begins on the date that you get a diagnosis. If you get power of attorney for a relative, you can file a claim on his or her behalf, even if they are deceased. You have until three years after a death to file an injury claim. Victims of injuries who are under 18 years of age have until three years after their 18th birthdays to claim compensation.

Documenting Your Work-related Accident

Don’t risk your financial well being and health by ignoring any kind of work injury. Always report an accident to your supervisor and make sure that the details are recorded in the Accident Book. If the employer doesn’t keep a book, write down all the particulars that you remember and send them to the owner or boss of the company while retaining a copy for your records. If you are too ill or injured to report an accident, get a friend, relative or colleague to do it for you.

The information in the report documents the event and creates an evidence trail if you need to file a claim later. Injuries that don’t seem serious when they happen often develop into long-term problems that could compromise your ability to work, generate huge medical bills and drastically change your lifestyle.

Find out more about accidents at work

Medical Negligence Solicitors

Medical Negligence Solicitors

Medical negligence, which we talk more about here, and malpractice generate large awards for its victims but tend to affect health happiness and family life severely. Few victims would trade their health, mobility or independence for financial gain, but cash settlements can help victims adjust to dramatic changes in lifestyle. Most physicians work hard to save lives and keep people healthy, but doctors, nurses and medical staff make mistakes. Pharmaceutical companies often introduce drugs that save lives but cause severe side effects in some people.

If you are injured during a routine medical procedure, by drug side effect or interaction, or during or after surgery, you can file a claim against the doctor, hospital or pharmaceutical company. Medical solicitors are essential because the medical industry typically employs teams of lawyers and experts to minimise awards and deny responsibility.

Typical Examples of Medical Malpractice

Medical malpractice extends to many common and specialised procedures in an increasingly complex technological industry where equipment failures, errors in procedure and malpractice can be hard to identify. An experienced lawyer is essential to sort the issues and get you compensation for your claim. Typical examples of medical malpractice include:

  • Prescription errors
  • Drug interactions
  • Surgical errors
  • Postoperative infections and complications
  • Birth injuries
  • Improper treatment
  • Failure to treat or delaying too long
  • Misdiagnosis of a condition
  • Nursing errors
  • Failing to provide critical information
  • Not monitoring a patient properly
  • Leaving foreign objects in the body after surgeries
  • Not providing recommended follow-up treatment
  • Home-care injuries
  • NHS negligence
  • Botched cosmetic surgeries

In order to prove your claim of medical malpractice, your lawyer must demonstrate that four things are true:

  1. The physician or medical professional had a duty to offer care that is equal to what any other doctor or medical worker would provide.
  2. The duty was breached in some way.
  3. The breach of duty resulted in a sustained injury.
  4. The patient suffers physical, psychological or financial damages as a result of the breach.

To can learn more about medical claims please read our complete guide where you can learn about the area of law and how to hire medical negligence solicitors.

Other Types of Professional Malpractice

Medical malpractice is the most common, but other types of malpractice can result in injuries or financial losses that you can recover by hiring a solicitor. Professionals in many industries are expected to provide safe service and current best practices. If you suffer damages or losses as a result of medical malpractice, legal malpractice, accountant mismanagement of funds, architect errors, interior designer snafus, landscaping dangers, barber and cosmetologist horrors, engineering miscalculations and service provider errors, you might have a case for getting compensation.

No Win No Fee Lawyers in Employment Law

Employees who are dismissed unfairly, made redundant, discriminated against or bullied until they quit don’t have to accept this kind of treatment without getting fair compensation. You can’t be discriminated against on the basis of sex, race, pregnancy and maternity, gender reassignment, sexual orientation, disability, religion or belief system. If your rights are violated, get a lawyer and file a claim.

Most employment claims in Scotland, England and Wales are heard by tribunals instead of at Court. No win no fee lawyers will represent you and you claim at these hearings and help you win compensation for flagrant violations of your rights and years of service. You are protected by various legal statutes and the terms of your employment contract.

Employment Tribunal Compensation Claims

You can find a lawyer to represent you on a conditional basis when you have a hearing before an employment tribunal. England, Scotland and Wales use employment tribunals to adjudicate many disputes between employees and employers including discrimination, unfair dismissal and redundancy payment issues. If you have a hearing scheduled to make a claim against a prospective, current or former employer, you can hire a lawyer to strengthen your chances of getting a ruling in your favour.

PPI Claims

PPI claims have dropped to 5,000 per week after reaching a high of 12,000 after the scandal broke. Consumers buy PPI insurance to guarantee their mortgage and loan payments, but the premiums were often miscalculated or sold unnecessarily. Consumers can apply for refunds but face a nightmare of bureaucratic red tape and routine denials of legitimate claims.

You can save time and frustration by getting a lawyer to represent you on a conditional fee basis. Getting your money can be extremely difficult for people without the skills or patience to muddle through endless red tape, bureaucratic stalling and denials of perfectly legitimate claims.

Law Society - Find A Solicitor

You can get referrals for lawyers in your area by contacting The Law Society of Wales and England and the separate organisations of The Law Society of Scotland and The Law Society of Northern Ireland. These organisations represent solicitors throughout the United Kingdom, and membership indicates that solicitors are bound by professionalism and a strict adherence to the principles of fiduciary responsibility.

In short, you can trust firms that belong to these organisations, which maintain searchable databases that enable you to search by legal speciality, location or name to find a solicitor. Protecting and promoting the legal profession and trustworthy solicitors, The Law Society regulates lawyers, encourages a higher standard of legal service and enables people to choose no win no fee lawyers from its list or find out if a lawyer is a member in good standing.

Final Word

A lack of financial resources should never limit your right to purse an injury case or legal claim to get compensation. Conditional and damages-based agreements allow you to get expert legal help without paying a high legal bill. You can increase your chances for success by staying calm, moving quickly and documenting your case thoroughly.

Get a Better Settlement

Most cases for legitimate personal injury claims settle before trial, but your lawyer will advise you whether to accept a settlement offer or hold out for a bigger settlement or Court award. If your case is successful, you don’t pay the lawyer’s regular fee, but your agreement with the solicitor might require you to pay up to 25%, 35% or 50% of your award as a success fee.

If you have a strong case, you might investigate other financing options for your legal bills. However, CFA agreements have many advantages including little risk, a strong incentive for your lawyer to succeed and protection if the case drags along for an extended period.

If you decide to change lawyers for any reason, you will need to negotiate a new fee arrangement for the work already done on the case. If you fail to keep your end of the agreement, your solicitor can cancel the CFA and require that you pay all fees and expenses up to the date of termination. If you win the case with another lawyer, the first solicitor can charge the full success fee authorised in the original CFA.

Other Liabilities of Your Case

If you engage in frivolous, dishonest or obstructionist behaviour, you could be liable for the defendant’s legal fees. You might also have to pay certain expenses for consultants, expert testimony or Court costs if your claim is unsuccessful. ATE insurance can cover these expenses and any success fees that your lawyer charges, and you can often get the cover without paying anything until the case ends.

Cases where potential compensation is small or you contributed to the accident or injury through negligence could prove too risky for a lawyer to take on a conditional basis. Other options for pursuing the case include getting legal financial aid, arbitrating your case through mediation or pursuing other financing options such as loans.

Conditional fee arrangement based cases provide many benefits for people who have legal claims regardless of their financial status. Representing yourself or accepting the first settlement offer is seldom wise and always risky. Gather your facts, and schedule a free consultation to explore your options. Consult the appendix to find solicitors in your area who work on a conditional basis. It could be one of the best decisions you ever make.