Do No Win No Fee Scams Exist?
Conditional Fee Agreements (CFA) are often used to fund the services of a solicitor when making a personal injury claim. Despite the benefits they offer, people tend to be wary of them. However, this guide will look at how you can avoid No Win No Fee scams by working with reputable providers.
Our guide aims to dispel any misconceptions you may have about CFA’s and help you understand how they could benefit you when seeking legal representation.
Solicitors may offer a CFA or No Win No Fee agreement for personal injury claims that cover accidents at work, road traffic accidents and public place accidents. However, because a law firm is taking a risk when offering No Win No Fee terms they will want to ensure that your case has a good chance of succeeding.
To hold a valid personal injury claim your case would need to meet a specific criteria. For instance, did someone owe you a duty of care? Did they breach their duty of care to you in a way that could have been avoided? Were you harmed either physically or mentally? If so, negligence may have occurred meaning you could seek compensation for your suffering.
We hope our guide can provide the information you need. However, if you still have any questions after reading, you can contact our team at any point. They can assess whether your claim is valid or just provide further clarification on anything you’re unsure of.
Get In Touch With Our Team
Please use the following details to speak to a member of our team during or after reading this guide:
- Telephone number 020 3870 4868
- Request a call-back from one of our advisors
- Speak to an advisor when it suits you using the live chat feature below
Services And Information
- Everything You Need To Know About No Win No Fee Scams
- What Is A No Win No Fee Claim?
- What Types Of Claim Could You Make Using A No Win No Fee Agreement?
- How Solicitors Decide To Offer A No Win No Fee Agreement
- Are There Any Additional Costs?
- No Win No Fee Compensation Calculator
- How To Understand The Fine Print
- Unfair Legal Fees
- Reducing The Risk Of No Win No Fee Scams
- How Much Time Do I Have To Claim With A No Win No Fee Agreement?
- What Should I Do If I Think I Was Victim To A No Win No Fee Scam?
- No Win No Fee Solicitors
- Other Information
- FAQs About No Win No Fee Scams
Conditional Fee Agreements have changed in certain ways over the years with the introduction of new legislation. Before 2012, if the claimant was successful, they wouldn’t pay a success fee. Instead, the defendant would pay the claimants compensation and solicitor fees.
However, this was causing a problem for insurance companies who were suffering under the financial burden of defendant legal costs. For that reason, Section 44 of the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 introduced a success fee. This was to be paid by the claimant out of their compensation package, should their claim succeed.
Later, the Conditional Fee Agreements Order 2013 confirmed the success fee percentage should be capped at 25%.
However, despite the legislation in place to protect the different parties involved in a CFA, there are still questions about No Win No Fee scams. This guide will help you understand how to approach the conditions of a No Win No Fee agreement.
Additionally, we’ll look at how you could work with a solicitor from our panel to help ensure your claim goes smoothly.
Don’t forget, you can call our team at any point. Alternatively, continue reading for further guidance.
A No Win No Fee Agreement or Conditional Fee Agreements sets out conditions that must be met in order for the solicitor or law firm to receive payment for their service. A personal injury claim is a legal process that someone can pursue if they have been caused avoidable harm by those who had a responsibility for their health and well being.
According to the Compensation Recovery Unit (CRU), there were a total of 829,252 cases seeking compensation registered between 2019-2020. The graph below shows the different claims that were registered during 2019-2020.
As you can see, the majority of the cases registered were for road traffic accidents.
Although it’s difficult to specify how many of these claims were made under a CFA, it provides an idea of the frequency with which claims are made.
A No Win No Fee agreement is a document also known as a Conditional Fee Agreement that a solicitor may offer those making a personal injury claim. The agreement is between the claimant and the solicitor and sets out what grounds need to be met for the solicitor to receive their fee.
A personal injury claim may result from a road traffic accident, accident at work or a public place accident. Alternatively, you may have suffered avoidable harm through medical negligence.
To be eligible to make a personal injury claim you must have suffered an injury or illness caused because those who owed you a duty of care to keep you reasonable safe failed to protect you.
The following examples show how someone’s failings could have contributed to an accident that caused you to suffer an injury:
- A slip, trip or fall at work that caused you to suffer a broken leg and could have been avoided had your employer provided wet floor signs.
- A head-on collision that caused you to sustain a serious head injury and could have been avoided had the driver paid better attention to the road.
- An allergic reaction resulting from a restaurant failing to make you aware of one of the 14 main allergens in their food.
For more information on whether you could seek compensation, speak to one of our advisors and they can provide you with further help.
Solicitors will often look at the risk and reward elements of a case. If the case fails, they can’t recover any costs from the claimant or the defendant. For that reason, before taking on your case they’ll weigh up the likelihood of your claim succeeding.
They might do this by offering a free consultation to assess your case. For instance, looking at evidence you’ve obtained such as witness details or medical records.
If they feel the claim has little chance of success, it’s unlikely they’ll take on your case to prevent wasting your time.
You may be wondering: are there hidden costs with No Win No Fee agreements? However, if you decide to seek legal representation under a CFA, you should be made aware of any costs before going ahead with your claim. The CFA is an agreement of terms and conditions. Always ensure you read this before signing it. Each law firm will have its own agreements so they can differ from one another.
The main costs are the success fee which is paid by you only if the claim is successful. In the event that the claim is unsuccessful, you won’t be asked to pay solicitor fees.
However, you will be advised of the insurance that can cover these costs if this happens. There are two types of insurance that could help:
- Before the event insurance (BTE) which is often covered in your home insurance policy
- After the event insurance (ATE) which you’re advised to take out before pursuing a claim (If you have BTE, you won’t generally, need to get ATE. You should always check your policy covers you correctly.)
In a successful personal injury claim, the compensation you are awarded could comprise general damages and special damages. General damages cover your physical and emotional injuries. Whereas special damages cover financial losses that have resulted from your injuries. Various factors are considered when valuing your injury, such as:
- The severity of your injuries
- Whether they will affect you long term
In order to accurately value your claim, a medical assessment may be carried out to provide a report. The report can provide details on the extent of your injuries or condition and how they were sustained.
Medical evidence will be used alongside the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG) This is a publication that contains bracket amounts that reflect injury figures from past cases that were settled in court.
Additionally, you may have suffered financial losses such as loss of earnings or care costs. If so, you can claim these back under special damages. However, not every claim will have these.
There is a way to work out general damages using a personal injury claims calculator. However, we have provided an alternative in the form of a compensation injury table.
The table outlines figures for different injuries taken from the JCG. However, as each case is unique and different factors are considered when valuing an injury claim, you should only use the figures as a guide.
|Injury type||Level of Severity||Compensation award||Further details|
|Back||Moderate (ii)||£11,730 to £26,050||Injuries such as ligament and muscle damage.|
|Back||Minor (i)||£7,410 to £11,730||A full recovery and treatment that didn't involve surgery.|
|Back||Minor (iii)||Up to £2,300||A full recovery within several months.|
|Leg||Less serious||Up to £11,110||A simple fibula fracture.|
|Leg||Moderate (iv)||£26,050 to £36,790||Injuries involving complicated or multiple fractures, usually just to one leg.|
|Arm||Simple Fractures of the Forearm||£6,190 to £18,020||A simple forearm fracture.|
|Elbow||Minor/Moderate||Up to £11,820||A simple elbow fracture that doesn't cause any permanent damage.|
A CFA can be complex and there are a lot of small details that are often missed. However, your solicitor should ensure they take the time to go through all the details with you before going ahead with your claim.
The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) sets out principles for all law firms and solicitors to meet. They include acting with honesty, integrity and in a way that upholds public trust and confidence in the solicitors’ profession and in the legal services provided.
For that reason, the solicitor has a responsibility to ensure you’re fully aware of how a No Win No Fee agreement works. For instance, informing you of:
- Any costs that may incur
- Risks of losing the case
The Legal Ombudsman can also provide useful information. Alternatively, you can call our team of expert advisors for further guidance.
It is vital that solicitors ensure their clients understand the costs included in a CFA. For instance, the success fee which is taken when the claim wins.
As per the Conditional Fee Agreements Order Act 2013, the success fee is legally capped at 25% when seeking legal representation under a Conditional Fee Agreement. So solicitors cannot take more than this percentage of your settlement figure. There are other types of No Win No Fee Agreements such as Damaged Based Agreements where solicitors are able to take a higher percentage.
Additionally, you could take out insurance before making your claim to cover you in the event that your claim fails. After the event insurance can cover the legal costs you may have to pay.
It’s always advisable that you read any documents carefully before signing to ensure you don’t miss any fees that aren’t discussed. In addition, you should check external solicitor reviews to see how solicitors or law firms have handled previous cases.
There is always the option to claim without legal representation or solicitors that operate under No Win No Fee terms. However, you could incur costs such as medical assessments, police reports for evidence and professional witnesses.
When making a personal injury claim you will need to consider the time limits that may apply. For instance, in most accident claims, the personal injury claims time limit is three years. Either from the date of your accident or the date you gained enough knowledge that someone else’s failings led to your injury. The time limit means you must issue court proceedings in this time not that you have to have your case completed within this time frame.
However, this may vary depending on the specific nature of your case. In cases where the person is under 18, the three years won’t start for them till they turn 18. During that time, a parent, solicitor or guardian could claim on their behalf by applying to act as a litigation friend.
Furthermore, if the person lacks the mental capacity to claim, the three years will be paused. In the event that the person recovers their mental capacity, the three years will start from the date of their recovery.
However, if they don’t, the three years will continue to stay paused. While it’s paused, a partner, solicitor or guardian could apply to act as a litigation friend to claim on their behalf.
We understand the exceptions may seem complex so if you require any further clarification, you can call our team on the number above.
If you feel you suffered financially due to falling victim to No Win No Fee scams, it’s possible you could make a complaint to the SRA. Solicitors are required to register with the SRA. If they find a solicitor or law firm has failed to meet the principles they set out, the SRA could take enforcement action.
Alternatively, if you want to pursue a personal injury claim you may be wondering what evidence you would need to gather. Below we have made a list of key evidence that could be used to help you seek compensation;
- Seek medical care from a trained medical professional to ensure you receive proper treatment for your injuries. This can help build a useful bank of medical evidence such as details of any diagnosis or treatment you received and an outline of the injuries you suffered.
- Collect other evidence such as CCTV footage, dashcam footage, pictures of the accident and your injuries, accident at work logs, police reports and witness details. This can help to prove that someone else was negligent for the accident that caused you to sustain an injury.
- Seek legal advice from an experienced solicitor. Personal injury claims can be complex so it can help to have someone with a legal background advising you on the steps involved in the process.
We understand that you may have your concerns about a No Win No Fee agreement. However, we can assure you that all of the solicitors on our panel are reliable and trustworthy. Additionally, they will always be upfront about the costs involved should your claim win or lose.
The benefits of this agreement mean that you won’t pay solicitor fees provided your claim is unsuccessful. Furthermore, there are no upfront costs involved or costs that may incur while the claim is ongoing.
If your claim is successful, you will be asked to pay a success fee which will be deducted from your compensation at the end. However, the percentage will be stipulated before your claim goes ahead so there will be no surprise costs that you’re unaware of.
Most importantly, you’ll have access to an experienced solicitor who can help you get the compensation you deserve. If this sounds like something you’d like to explore further, call our team.
They can look at whether your claim is valid and if it is, appoint a solicitor from our panel to represent you on a No Win No Fee basis. For more information, get in touch using the details below:
- Telephone number 020 3870 4868
- Request a call-back from one of our advisors
- Speak to an advisor when it suits you using the live chat feature below
See our guide on whether you could claim compensation after an injury caused by manual handling in the workplace.
Were you in a motorcycle accident but didn’t have insurance at the time? If so, our guide on whether you could still claim compensation for your injuries could help.
Read our guide on making a gym injury compensation claim for further information.
See the government website for more information on claiming compensation after suffering an accident or injury.
The Legal Ombudsman Report on CFA’s could provide further guidance.
Visit the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents for further information.
Other Compensation Guides
- What Are Car Accident Victims’ Rights?
- Criminal Injuries Compensation Calculator
- Pedestrian Hit By A Car At A Junction – Who Is At Fault?
- How Much Compensation As a Cyclist Hit by a Car?
- An Employer’s Responsibility Following a Workplace Accident
- Can You Sue Your Employer While Still Working For Them?
- Data Breach Compensation Examples
The following section will look at answering some common questions about No Win No Fee agreements.
Is no win no fee a good idea?
If you’re looking for a way to have legal representation whilst avoiding upfront fees, then yes the option of a No Win No Fee agreement could help.
Are there hidden costs with no win no fee?
A solicitor should always outline all costs involved with this type of agreement such as the defendants legal costs should the claim fail.
What percentage do solicitors take for no win no fee?
The success fee solicitors can take is capped at 25% so they won’t ever take any more than that. However, we could offer a lower rate of 15% in some cases. See above for our contact details to find out more.
Thank you for reading our guide on No Win No Fee scams. We hope you found it useful.
Checked by EI