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No Win No Fee
Common questions on funding a medical negligence claim using a No Win No Fee Agreement
What is a No Win No Fee Agreement?
No Win No Fee (or Conditional Fee) Agreements are agreements between you and your Lawyer that are intended to provide easier access to justice.
Put simply, a No Win No Fee agreement means:
Should you not be successful in your claim you will not be responsible for your Lawyer’s fees for investigating the claim.
If you are successful, ultimately you are responsible for your Lawyer’s fees. However, these are usually recovered in full from the Defendant.
Under a No Win No Fee agreement, certain costs are not recoverable from the Defendant and so, if successful, you may still be responsible for these costs. This is really only an issue in high value, or complex, claims where there are many issues that require investigating.
What about costs incurred by the Defendant?
Any agreement between you and your Lawyer can only relate to your legal costs. Therefore, a No Win No Fee agreement does not cover the costs incurred by the Defendant in defending the claim.
Should you not be successful in your claim, you will be responsible for the Defendant’s costs from the date Proceedings are served on the defendant or their legal advisors.
However, your Lawyer will take out an insurance policy to cover this risk. The premiums for these policies are deferred and self-insured. That means that if you are not successful, the policy covers the premium so you will not have to pay this.
If you are successful, the cost of the insurance policy is payable by the Defendant, together with your Lawyer’s costs.
What are disbursements and will I be responsible for these?
Disbursements are costs that arise throughout the course of the investigation that are not your Lawyer’s fees. They include: medical reports, medical records and Court fees.
Medical Negligence investigations are costly and so, in certain circumstances, you may have to fund disbursements (at least during the initial investigative stages). Your Lawyer may ask you to fund disbursements until the prospects of success in your cases are clear. It is important to understand that it is often difficult, or impossible, to asses prospects of success in a medical negligence claim right at the outset. Usually, it is not until your medical records have been obtained, reviewed and considered by an independent medical expert that the prospects of success become clear.
Disbursements are recoverable from the Defendant if successful and if your Lawyer has obtained an insurance policy, you will be reimbursed should you not be successful in your case.
Is my case suitable for a No Win No Fee Agreement?
Unlike simple personal injury claims, not all medical negligence claims are suitable for No Win No Fee funding. Your Lawyer will conduct a risk assessment to assess your claims suitability. It may be that your Lawyer asks you to fund some of the investigation until the prospects of success are established.
- No win No Fee agreements only cover your Lawyer’s fees (time spent investigating your claim)
- If you are successful, your Lawyer’s fees, together with any disbursements and insurance policy, will be recoverable from the defendant
- A No Win No Fee agreement does not cover the defendant’s costs
- Your Lawyer will obtain an insurance policy to cover your liabilities should you not be successful
Our Lawyers conduct many cases on No Win No fee Agreements and will happily explain them in detail. Contact us today to discus your case with a specialist No Win No Fee Lawyer.