No-win No-Fee Solicitors; Too Good to be True?

There is a lot of talk about no-win, no-fee lawyers and the world of personal injury law, but how do you separate the fact from the fiction? When all is said and done, you need to use a little common sense in order to find out the truth about this area of law. Here, some of the facts are laid out and several myths are dispelled.

personal injury

1. You pay your lawyer out of the compensation that you receive.

This is one of the big worries that people have, but it’s a common misapprehension about how no-win, no-fee legal services work. It does sound as though the claimant has to pay his solicitor in the event of a successful claim, but this is not the case. The successful claimant keeps 100% of his settlement or compensation award. The claimant’s legal fees, including the solicitor’s fees, are paid by the other side. This means that no matter what the likely size of the compensation award, claiming will not leave the claimant out of pocket with legal bills.

2. Personal injury lawyers encourage frivolous claims.

This myth seems to have come about after various incidences of ridiculous claims made in other jurisdictions, particularly the United States. Watching American television, you could be forgiven for thinking that lawyers claim for the slightest reason. English courts, however, do not look favourably upon frivolous claims. The legal profession regulates the standard and integrity of solicitors such that any solicitor who encourages someone in a frivolous claim will be at least severely discouraged. The no-win, no-fee system means that lawyers look at whether or not a claim is likely to be successful in court, basing their judgement on the knowledge of the English legal system and bearing in mind the disapproval of frivolous claims. With frivolous claims, there is a very real risk that they will be unsuccessful and therefore have put in the time and effort for no reward.

3. Personal injury lawyers are ‘ambulance chasers’.

There has indeed been a rise in personal injury claims in the last decade. Some people argue that certain members of the profession do their best to attract clients from just about anywhere, even scouring A&E departments in order to find people to represent. Again, this is largely untrue, as any good lawyer has no need to traipse around hospitals touting for clients.

There is, however, a good deal of advertising that serves to make people aware of their rights. Prior to no-win, no-fee claims, only those who had insurance or very deep pockets to fund their own claims could access justice. Often, cases were resolved not by reaching a just decision, but by seeing which side had the best, most expensive legal representation. No-win, no-fee means that no matter what the earnings of the claimant, he can try to seek justice for the injury or illness he sustained. Advertisements serve to let people know of their rights and to help ensure that everyone knows what they are entitled to by law.

Love them or loathe them, personal injury lawyers are a necessary part of modern life and should you be on the receiving end of an injury caused by the negligence or carelessness of another, you will be glad that the experts are there to act on your behalf.


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