A Guide to No Win No Fee Charges & Costs
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If you’re considering making a medical negligence claim, you might be concerned about hidden costs or losing the bulk of your compensation to solicitors’ fees.
The idea of No Win No Fee can seem very complicated, or simply just too good to be true. We’re here today to help make things a bit clearer. This guide will explain what a No Win No Fee case actually is, and all the charges and costs to be aware of.
We don’t think getting support after suffering negligence should be expensive. With a Patient Claim Line solicitor, you’ll have protection from any hidden costs or hefty legal fees. If you win your claim you’ll receive the majority of your compensation, and if you lose you won’t have to pay a penny!
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How does the No Win No Fee process work?
If someone’s negligent care has resulted in a preventable illness or the worsening of symptoms, you are entitled compensation. As long as you first identified this negligence within the past three years, medical negligence law enables you to make a No Win No Fee claim.
- When you reach out to our solicitors with your story, they’ll assess the grounds of your claim and the likelihood of success.
- After agreeing to take the case and undertaking some initial research, they’ll notify the defendant’s insurance company about your claim. This will be NHS Resolution if you are filing a claim against an NHS professional, or the specialist insurer of a private healthcare professional.
- Your solicitor will then take care of everything for you and in most cases, a settlement is agreed through negotiation of the two parties within a year.
What are the No Win No Fee charges?
If you lose your claim, you will not have to pay any costs at all. However, if it succeeds you do now need to pay a small charge out of your compensation. In 2013, laws surrounding No Win No Fee medical negligence claims changed, permitting solicitors to recover their fees from your winning settlement.
This charge is agreed upon in something called a conditional fee agreement which is made and signed at the beginning of the process.
It will include a ‘success fee’, compensating the solicitor for taking a risk, and an expense named the ‘shortfall’. This is the outstanding costs of anything not recovered from the other party and will be confirmed in your agreement.
The rest of the settlement figure will be yours and we promise that you’ll know from the first discussions what charges to expect should you win your case. Our solicitors, unlike other companies, will never ask for any money upfront. We recommend walking away from any solicitor asking for any payment at the beginning of the claims process.
What percentage do No Win No Fee solicitors take?
Whilst the law states that a solicitor can keep no more than 25% of your compensation, in actual fact they often deduct less. It varies from case to case but is just the success fee plus any balancing costs, as discussed above.
Our team prioritise transparency with claimants and will make sure to explain clearly and simply what charges you will face in your specific case. They possess a huge amount of experience and will be able to provide you with an accurate forecast of how the process will look.
Will I need to take out insurance?
Solicitors tend to offer medical negligence claimants ‘After The Event’ insurance at the beginning of the case. This is because there are certain costs that cannot be estimated or confirmed at the start of the process. These might include court fees or the cost of securing medical documents. Taking out ATE insurance will cover any potential extra costs, allowing you to proceed without financial risk
Whilst some companies can charge upwards of £900 for ATE, our solicitors will offer a full risk policy for free. We believe a medical negligence claimant has faced enough difficulty as it is, and does not need the added stress of putting their personal finances at risk.
Are there any costs if I lose my No Win No Fee claim?
With the correct insurance in place you will face no costs at all if you lose your medical negligence claim. Our solicitors put measures in place to ensure that there are no hidden fees and no catch whatsoever should your case unfortunately not succeed. Your insurance policy will pay any costs for the defendant and you will walk away with absolutely nothing owed.
Can I claim compensation without a solicitor?
The majority of medical negligence claimants fund their case using a No Win No Fee agreement and legal protection insurance. There are some variations to this as some injuries qualify for Legal Aid, and others may use the insurance included in their Trade Union’s protection.
Some people may also choose to proceed with a case independent of a claims company. There is no legal requirement for you to have a solicitor handle your case, however it is strongly recommended for a few reasons:
- A solicitor holds a lot more legal knowledge and experience which will be invaluable for your case. Without their help, you could wind up spending a lot of money for a claim that you mistakenly believed had prospects to succeed. A trained lawyer, with tens of years of experience, will be able to say with good certainty whether you are likely to receive compensation.
- An expert will also be able to provide crucial advice if an offer is made to you by the opponent. You may believe a settlement proposal is reasonable when in actual fact, you are being entirely lowballed. We would always advise enlisting the guidance of a trained professional who can help ensure you receive the best possible outcome.
- Having a trained solicitor on your case will also help prevent it reaching court. But should a court hearing be needed, you would also greatly benefit from their representation. It is unlikely that court proceedings are issued for a medical negligence case but they can be ordered if the two parties cannot reach an agreement, or if the case’s limitation date is nearing.
Meet our medical negligence team
Director of Medical Negligence
Partner, Head of Strategy and Legal Operations