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How To Avoid No Win No Fee Scams

If you’ve been injured in an accident that wasn’t your fault or suffered because of medical negligence you might want to think about claiming compensation for your suffering. However, the thought of losing money on solicitor’s fees coupled with the fact that legal aid is no longer available in many areas of the law might put you off claiming. However, one option that might help is a No Win No Fee service. But are they as good as they seem? Well, here ay Legal Expert all claims that we take on we do so under No Win No Fee agreements. These can also be known as Conditional Fee Agreements and be used to fund personal injury solicitors. As we progress through this guide, we’ll look at how No Win No Fee works, what you can claim for and how much compensation might be paid.

Do No Win No Fee Solicitors Scams Happen?

How to avoid no-win-no-fee scams guide

How to avoid no-win-no-fee scams guide

Legal Expert has a team of specialist solicitors who can help with all sorts of claims. In fact, they’ve been helping clients claim for over 3-decades. Our service includes a no-obligation telephone assessment of your case in which an advisor will offer free legal advice. If the claim appears suitable, it could be passed to a solicitor. If they are happy to represent you, they’ll work on a No Win No Fee basis for you.

To discuss beginning a claim today, please get in touch on 0800 073 8804. Alternatively, to learn more about the No Win No Fee claims service, please continue reading.

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A Guide To Avoiding No Win No Fee Scams

In this guide, we are going to look at how No Win No Fee services work. While No Win No Fee scams are rare, such services can vary widely so it is important that you check the contents of any agreement before signing it. As we progress, we’ll explain what these agreements might cover, what hidden fees might be included, whether insurance is required and what you can do to avoid unreasonable costs.

No Win No Fee services might be offered for medical negligence claims, accident at work claims, personal injury claims and road traffic accident claims. They are a great way of making the claims process less stressful. We’ll provide further information on how they work later on.

However, before taking legal action, you should consider the applicable time limits. Mostly, personal injury claims must be started within 3-years of the date you were injured. Alternatively, the limitation period might begin at a later date if your injuries weren’t diagnosed right away. Or you were not aware that your injuries were caused by negligence. One exception to these rules is where a child is involved. In these cases, a parent (or responsible adult) can claim on the child’s behalf at any point before the child turns 18-years old.

If you have any questions about our No Win No Fee services, please call our team. We’ll answer any questions and review your case for free. If you have the grounds to claim, we’ll ask one of our solicitors to review your case in more detail.

What Are No Win No Fee Claims?

A No Win No Fee service offered by a solicitor is where a claimant instructs a solicitor to represent them but where no upfront fees or hourly rates are charged.  Typically, before a solicitor accepts to work for you on a No Win No Fee basis, your solicitor will want to check that:

  • The defendant owed you a duty of care; and
  • They breached that duty through a negligent action; and
  • You suffered as a direct result of that negligence.

Solicitors offer No Win No Fee services because other funding options, like legal aid, are no longer available. These services are to be welcomed as they allow claimants to seek representation no matter their financial situation as they avoid paying solicitor’s fees in unsuccessful cases.

Instead of paying for the solicitor’s work up front, a success fee is deducted from any compensation you are awarded. This type of service puts a lot of the financial risk onto the law firm so they will only provide No Win No Fee services where the claim has a reasonable chance of success.

Success fees are only payable in the event your claim is won and that you are paid compensation. The Ministry of Justice restricts them to no more than 25% of your settlement. Generally, most No Win No Fee solicitors charge the full 25%.

What Was The Jackson Review?

Lord Justice Jackson was asked to review the costs involved in civil litigation in 2008. His report identified that some litigation costs impeded access to justice because they were disproportionate. The “major contributor to disproportionate costs” were No Win No Fee agreements according to the report.

The two key factors the report identified as problems were:

  1. Lawyer’s success fees.
  2. After The Event (ATE) insurance.

The Review suggested:

  • Success fees cannot be charged to the losing party in civil litigation claims.
  • Costs associated with ATE insurance also can’t be passed on to the losing party in such claims.

Therefore, these costs must now be considered by the claimant prior to seeking legal representation. Therefore, one way to avoid No Win No Fee scams is for solicitors to be upfront about any potential costs clients will need to pay regardless of how their claim is settled.

We’ll explain more about fees and ATE insurance in the coming sections of this guide. If you’d like to check how our No Win No Fee services work, please speak to a member of our team.

Could You Have To Pay Hidden Fees?

As with any contract or legal agreement, it is vital that you verify what is and isn’t included before signing it. No Win No Fee agreements are no different.

Some agreements only cover the cost of your solicitor’s fees. They might not cover the cost of hiring medical experts or barristers. Additionally, the cost of the defendant’s solicitors if the case loses might not be covered.

If you hire another solicitor to act for you, when one was originally appointed and the case is successful, you might have to pay a success fee to both solicitors.

Furthermore, your No Win No Fee agreement might include additional costs if:

  • You settle out of court against your solicitor’s recommendations.
  • Your solicitor advises you to accept an offer but you refuse.
  • You don’t cooperate fully with your solicitor.

Again, it is vitally important that you read the details of your agreement in full before signing it. If you don’t, and it includes hidden fees, you could end up with a bill that you were not expecting.

Could After The Event Insurance Help You Avoid A Scam?

After The Event insurance (ATE) is usually used to cover the defendant’s legal fees if your claim is unsuccessful. It can also cover your solicitor’s disbursements during your case such as the cost of medical reports, barristers fees and court costs. This cost of the insurance cannot be recovered by the defendant if they lose the case.

Your solicitor is highly likely to ask you to take out ATE insurance before they agree to work for you.  However, it is not compulsory.

Something that is important to consider is the cost and level of cover offered by your ATE insurance policy. As with other insurance, the insurer may consider the likelihood that they’ll need to payout.

How To Avoid Any Unreasonable Costs

It is also important to check your No Win No Fee agreement for further solicitor’s costs. If your claim is lost, the terms of the agreement will mean you won’t have to pay for your solicitor’s work.

However, if your claim is won, your solicitor’s legal fees will be passed to the defendant to pay. This does not include the success fee that you will cover. If they believe these fees are too high, they could decide to contest them through a court.

Also, if you decide you no longer want to make a claim halfway through the case the agreement may state that you are liable for costs. If you make a claim that is not honest you could also be asked to pay the costs and fees involved.

Again, you should be sure about what you’ll need to pay in this scenario. Your contract should explain all fees and charges clearly. Therefore, you should read it clearly before agreeing to work with your solicitor.

If you would like to discuss how our No Win No Fee service works, why not call our team today? We’ll explain the claims process clearly and let you know your options after reviewing your case.

How A Solicitor Could Help You To Avoid No Win No Fee Scams

When you seek damages from somebody, you’ll usually end up dealing with their insurance company. This can be a difficult process that can involve complex legal and medical questions. We believe it’s best to have legal representation to give yourself the best chance of being compensated fairly. Although having a solicitor represent you is not compulsory.

If you do want a solicitor on your side, we’d suggest that you check that they:

  • Are registered with the Solicitors Regulation Authority.
  • Specialise in personal injury or medical negligence claims.
  • Provide a No Win No Fee service.

Our aim is always to reduce the financial risks. If your case is taken on, we’ll appoint a solicitor who will do all they can to try and ensure that you receive the maximum level of compensation possible. If you’d like to know more about us, why not take a look at our recent reviews?

No Win No Fee Personal Injury Claims Calculator

In this section, we’d like to discuss how much compensation might be paid during a personal injury claim. Settlements are based on the severity of your injuries which means every claim will be different. Therefore, although you’ll see potential compensation figures in our table, below, they should be used for guidance only.

The amounts listed are from the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG). This is something lawyers, courts and insurers use to help determine settlement figures.

Body Part Severity Settlement Range More Information
Nose Fractures £9,990 to £21,700 Covers multiple and serious fractures of the nasal complex and result in permanent damage or require multiple surgical procedures.
Face Scarring £8,550 to £28,240 Where there is some cosmetic disability but the worst effects have been treated by cosmetic surgery.
Neck Moderate £12,900 to £23,460 This range covers wrenching injuries and soft tissue injuries that cause discomfort, serious loss of movement, discomfort and recurring pain or permanent pain.
Back Minor (i) £7,410 to £11,730 In this settlement range, an almost full recovery will take around 2- 5 years (without surgery).
Shoulder Moderate £7,410 to £11,980 This settlement range includes injuries such as frozen shoulder that results in limited movement for around 2-years.
Elbow Severe £36,770 to £51,460 Covers seriously disabling elbow injuries.
Knee Moderate £13,920 to £24,580 Injuries such as dislocation, torn cartilage and torn meniscus are covered by this category.
Ankle Severe £29,380 to £46,980 Where injuries result in pins, metal plates and screws being used and where a residual disability remains or where extensive surgery is needed.
Feet Serious £23,460 to £36,790 Injuries that cause continuing pain from traumatic arthritis or result in the risk of future arthritis.

To try and ensure you are compensated correctly, you’ll need a medical assessment during the claims process. It will be carried out by an independent medical specialist who will examine you, read your medical notes and discuss the impact of your injuries. After they’re done, a report will be filed detailing your injuries and your prognosis. To help avoid excessive travel, our solicitors can usually arrange local medical assessments.

If you call our team for a free case review, you’ll receive a more personalised compensation estimate if your claim is accepted by a solicitor.

Additional And Special Damages

In addition to any general damages you claim for, you could also be entitled to special damages. This is compensation aimed at restoring any financial losses or costs you’ve incurred as a result of your injuries. As before, each claim is unique, so what can be claimed for will vary from claim to claim. In summary, special damages could include:

  • Medical costs. These could be claimed to cover prescription and other medication fees. Also, you may need to claim for non-NHS services.
  • Care costs. Should you need support while you’re recovering, you could ask for the cost of a carer to be covered. This could involve calculating an hourly rate to cover the time of a friend or relative who supported you. Furthermore, you could claim back a professional carer’s fees.
  • Travel expenses. During your recovery, you may need to travel to and from the hospital, the pharmacy or a GP surgery. Therefore, any fuel, parking or public transport costs could be added to your claim.
  • Modifications to your home. Where you are left with a long-term disability, changes to your home (or vehicle) could make coping easier. Therefore, the cost of the work could be covered by your claim.
  • Lost income. It is possible to ask for any lost earnings to be included in your claim. These could arise if your injuries prevent you from working or if you need time off to attend medical appointments.
  • Future lost income. For longer-term injuries, there may be an adverse impact on your earning capacity. If that’s true, you could ask for future lost earnings to be considered too.

It is a good idea to diarise any spending linked to your injuries. Receipts and bank statements should also be used to help prove what special damages you’re claiming.

How To Use A No Win No Fee Agreement

So, we have almost finished our guide about No Win No Fee scams, let’s look at what actually happens when you engage a No Win No Fee solicitor to represent you.

In the first instance, your case will need to be reviewed. That’s because, as we’ve explained, to reduce the risk of wasting time and money, solicitor’s need to be sure there is a reasonable chance of winning your case.

If your case is accepted, and you decide to proceed, you’ll be sent a No Win No Fee agreement. This is actually called a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA). The agreement explains what your solicitor needs to achieve before you need to cover the cost of their work. Essentially, you must be compensated before they are paid anything.

The CFA will include a section about success fees. This is what your solicitor will be paid if you are compensated. Rather than you sending money to cover their costs, the success fee is deducted from your compensation. It is expressed as a fixed percentage of your compensation that’s capped by law. Generally, the success fee will be up to 25% of your settlement amount.

If you would like to check if you can claim using our No Win No Fee service, why not speak with us today?

Speak To An Expert

We hope that we have helped you to understand how solicitors work and how to avoid No Win No Fee scams. If you would like to discuss how our solicitors could help you to claim, you can:

Our claims line is available 24-hours a day, 7-days a week. We provide no-obligation case reviews as well as advice on your claim options. Remember, our solicitors offer a No Win No Fee service if your claim is accepted to make the process a lot easier and less stressful.

Essential References

In this section of our guide on No Win No Fee scams, we’ve added some useful resources and links to some more of our own guides. Please let us know if you’d like any additional information.

Solicitors Register – You can use this tool to avoid No Win No Fee scams. It allows you to verify that a solicitor or law firm is registered.

Find A Solicitor – Advice from the Law Society on what to expect when using a solicitor.

Litigation Friends – This government article explains how to claim on behalf of a child or adult who can’t claim themselves.

Accident At Work Claims – Advice on using No Win No Fee services if you’ve been injured at work.

Psychological Injuries – This article shows how you could include psychological damage in any personal injury claim.

Medical Negligence Claims – Details on how to claim for suffering caused by medical negligence using No Win No Fee services.

No Win No Fee Scam FAQs

We are at the end of our guide on No Win No Fee scams. To help you further, we have listed some relevant questions and answers below.

How successful are no win no fee cases?

There aren’t any statistics to say exactly how many No Win No Fee claims are won. However, it’s worth considering that law firms vet such cases before taking them on. That means they will only accept cases that they believe have strong grounds and have a reasonable chance of being won.

Why do lawyers offer no win no fee?

No Win No Fee services exist because solicitors realise that claimants don’t want to risk losing money on solicitor’s fees. Therefore, solicitors who provide such services take on most of the financial risk.

Do lawyers take cases they can’t win?

When you ask a No Win No Fee lawyer to work for you, they will need to check whether your claim has a chance of success. If it doesn’t the solicitor is not likely to take it on as they would risk not being paid.

Thanks for visiting today to learn about No Win No Fee scams. If you would like to discuss how our services work, please get in touch.

Written By Hambridge

Edited By Melissa.

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    • Patrick Mallon

      Patrick is a Grade A solicitor having qualified in 2005. He's an an expert in accident at work and public liability claims and is currently our head of the EL/PL department. Get in touch today for free to see how we can help you.