Why Do Most Injury Solicitors Charge 25% Success Fees?
Do All Solicitors Take A 25 Percent Fee For Their Services?
If you’re making a personal injury claim and using the services of a personal injury lawyer to do so, you might wonder ‘why do most injury solicitors charge 25% success fees?’
You may think that this is rather a large percentage to charge and wonder whether you should go it alone so that you can save on costs, but this is not necessarily the wisest decision to make.
This guide has been created to answer the question ‘do all solicitors take 25 per cent?’, as well as offering some insight into how a personal injury solicitor could help ensure you recover the maximum compensation possible for your claim, even though you’d have to pay them a percentage of your compensation once they’d won your case.
In the sections below, we explain why many solicitors charge a 25% success fee and discuss when this fee is payable.
We also give you some general personal injury claims advice surrounding how much compensation you could claim for certain injuries, and the benefits of choosing to work with a legal professional on your claim, rather than going it alone.
We hope this information is useful to you. If you have any questions about getting an eligibility check on your case or finding a personal injury lawyer to work with, we’d be happy to help you.
You can reach us at any time on 0800 073 8804.
Select A Section
- A Guide To Why Most Injury Solicitors Charge 25% Success Fees
- What Is A Success Fee?
- Why May Solicitors Charge A 25% Fee?
- Do All Law Firms And Solicitors Charge The Same Fees?
- What Legal Changes Have Been Made To Success Fees And Claims?
- Calculate Your Compensation Settlement
- What Are Examples Of Special Damages You May Claim?
- No Win No Fee Solicitors Handling Injury Claims
- How Our Team Could Help You Make A Claim For Compensation
- Begin An Injury Claim
- Quick Resources
If you are making a personal injury claim and instruct a personal injury lawyer under No Win No Fee payment terms, you might be surprised to learn how much of your compensation would be taken as a success fee if the lawyer was able to negotiate a compensation settlement for you.
You may have even looked around for another solicitor to see if they would charge you less for your claim. If so, you might have discovered that the cost that most, if not all, solicitors charge for success fees is 25%. This may lead you to ask ‘why do most injury solicitors charge 25% success fees, where do they come from and when do I pay them?’
This guide has been put together to ensure you are fully informed about what deductions from personal injury claims are.
In the sections below, we explain the changes in the law that now mean that claimants are responsible for certain costs, even in successful claims, as well as demonstrating the benefits of working with a solicitor on your case, even if this means you’d have to pay a success fee to them.
We also give advice on finding a lawyer who could take your case on without charging you anything upfront, or during your claim, who would only take a success fee once your compensation had been paid out.
If you make a personal injury claim, whether for an accident at work, a road traffic accident, or a public injury claim, you may choose to work with a No Win No Fee solicitor. If you do, and the lawyer succeeds in getting you a settlement, you would be asked to pay them a success fee.
A success fee, in the simplest of terms, is a fee that solicitors charge claimants in successful compensation claims. It would be deducted from your final compensation settlement.
In some cases, lawyers have to put in a significant amount of knowledge, time and experience into maximising their client’s compensation settlement, and it is only fair that they get paid for their services. But why do claimants have to pay their solicitor a success fee, and why can these costs not be settled by the liable party?
Significant changes in the law have led to claimants having to contribute to lawyer’s fees in successful cases. We explain these further on in this guide. But before we do, let’s look at the fees associated with common types of injury claims.
Road Traffic Accident Claim Success Fees
The standard legal fees that a solicitor could recover from the defendant in most road traffic accident claims are capped. The cap in questions is usually referred to as ‘fixed recoverable costs’.
What this means for lawyers is that they are not able to carry out work on such claims profitably unless they are able to charge the maximum success fee of 25% of the total compensation settlement.
Therefore, in order to get a solicitor to represent you in an RTA case, they’d have to charge you the fee. Otherwise, they’d be working at a loss.
Work Injury Claim Success Fees
For low-value accident at work claims, the cap relating to fixed recoverable costs is also in place. Whether you choose a general personal injury lawyer or specialist lawyer in the workplace injury claims sector for your claim, this cap still applies, and therefore most claims would come with a 25% success fee, simply because they would be unable to run such a case for less.
Medical Negligence Claim Success Fees
Whether your clinical negligence case is against your GP, a dentist, an NHS hospital or private practice, it could require a significant amount of time and work by a lawyer to maximise the compensation payout you could receive.
The burden of proof is on the lawyer to prove that but for third-party negligence, you would not have ended up so ill/injured. This could be quite difficult and may require in-depth research and evidence gathering.
In addition, some medical negligence claims can take many years to complete. This could result in solicitors not being able to cover the costs of the work involved in such claims, which is why they could charge the maximum success fee legally allowed, which is 25%.
Now we’ve answered the question ‘why do most injury solicitors charge 25% success fees?’, let’s look at the work they put into claims and the overall benefits of using their services.
Depending on the type of claim you’re pursuing, your lawyer may need to:
- Review other related cases to look at legal precedent
- Review evidence
- Obtain expert advice on complex medical issues
- Negotiate with insurers, and other liable parties
- Present your case to the court (in some cases)
All this represents a significant amount of time, and some cases could take months or even years to achieve a settlement.
Why Should I Pay 25% Of My Compensation When I Could Go It Alone?
It is not a legal requirement for you to use a solicitor when making a claim for compensation. However, there is always the risk that you could fail to achieve a settlement alone. Therefore, paying 25% of a settlement to a lawyer might be worth considering against the risk of not being able to get any compensation.
The amount of experience and knowledge a solicitor could bring to your case could be invaluable. Not only could they help to ensure you have the strongest possible chance of achieving a payout, but they could also help ensure legal action was taken before the personal injury claims time limit for your case was up. They also could help gather crucial evidence that proves your claim.
Their work would not end when you’d been offered a settlement either. They would be able to use their professional knowledge and experience to ensure they obtained the highest possible payout for your claim. This could be significantly more than you could negotiate alone, which means you could benefit significantly, even after a success fee had been deducted from your settlement.
What percentage lawyers charge their clients is a matter of choice, but they do have costs to cover. Changes in the law were made in an attempt to provide more competition between solicitors when it came to success fees. However, competition has not emerged, as the majority of solicitors charge 25% of the total compensation settlement, the maximum percentage allowed by the Ministry Of Justice.
Do All Solicitors Take 25%?
In a case from 2015 (A & Anor v Royal Mail Group), a Judge commented on success fees, explaining that there was an expectation that the deregulation of the success fee would make the market more competitive, as solicitors may reduce their success fees to secure work. However, the judge also recognised that this had not happened, and may not come to pass.
In 2000, Legal Aid was abolished and success fees were introduced, to help ensure potential claimants could access justice, a significant and fundamental principle of English law that has been in place since Magna Carta. The introduction of success fees meant that claimants of any financial standing could take their case to court without risk of being liable for solicitors fees if their case were to fail.
Before 31st March 2013, any claimant who was pursuing compensation via a personal injury claim under No Win No Fee payment terms kept 100% of the compensation settlement awarded to them. There were no deductions from their settlement, and they paid nothing if their claim was lost.
During this time, there was an obligation for third party insurers to cover insurance and legal costs as well as paying them compensation for general damages and special damages. However, insurers pressured the government to make changes as they complained the burden of such costs was too much.
No Win No Fee solicitors were then banned from charging the defendant a success fee, and additionally, solicitors were no longer able to recover the costs of the insurance premium mentioned (After The Event insurance (ATE)). This meant that claimants were obligated to pay this premium out of their settlement as well.
When the law changed at the end of March 2013, this meant that from April 1st 2013, successful claimants were obligated to contribute towards the costs of their claims, up to a maximum of 25% of their total settlement.
The new laws that came into force on the 1st April 2013 are part of the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 (LAPSO Act). While the government took this action to reduce the burden on insurers, with an expected benefit being the reduction of insurance premiums for employers, motorists, and public sector entities, premiums have not reduced. Instead, they have risen significantly in recent years, with insurer’s profits also rising.
Whether you feel that the success fee is an unfair deduction from your compensation settlement or otherwise, it may be worth considering the fact that a solicitor’s ability to recover costs has significantly reduced, despite them having to put in the same amount of work in.
When it comes to claiming compensation, your lawyer would fight for the maximum possible for your injuries, and the pain and suffering they have caused you. These are what are known as general damages.
You might have come across a personal injury claims calculator online that promises to give you an approximation of your compensation settlement, but we have chosen to give you some insight into compensation settlements in a different way.
Each personal injury claim settlement depends on the facts and circumstances of the case. Every claim is different and even similar injuries could affect people differently, affecting payout amounts significantly.
This means that online calculators could only offer a very rough estimate of the compensation you could receive for your injuries. And this is why we have chosen instead to give you some guideline payout amounts from the Judicial College Guidelines for some common injuries that people could claim for. These could offer some insight into how much some injuries could achieve in terms of awards for general damages.
Injury type Judicial College Guidelines Payout Bracket Remarks
Neck injuries (severe) (iii) £42,680 - £52,540 Severe soft tissue damage, fractures or dislocations leading to chronic conditions. They could also lead to significant permanent disabilities.
Back injuries (severe) (ii) £69,600 - £82,980 Injuries that have special features that raise them above other orthopaedic injuries to the back. Features could include impaired mobility, or impaired bladder or bowel function as well as unsightly scarring, nerve root damage and more.
Shoulder injuries (Moderate) £7,410 - £11,980 Injuries could include frozen shoulders which limit movement and last around 2 years. Or, soft tissues injuries that have symptoms persisting after 2 years.
Pelvis/Hip injuries (moderate) (i) £24,950 - £36,770 A significant level of injury to the hip or pelvis but with no major permanent disability. Risk of future harm is not great.
Elbow injuries (severely disabling) £36,770 - £51,460 -
Wrist injuries £22,990 - £36,770 Injuries that result in permanent significant disabilities, but there remains some useful movement.
Finger fractures (severe) Up to £34,480 Leading to partial amputation, resulting in some deformity or grip impairment. Disturbed sensation and reduced function could also feature.
The table above is by no means exhaustive. If you’ve suffered a different injury, feel free to call our team and we’ll be able to give you some information on guideline payout amounts for other injuries too.
Your lawyer would also fight for compensation for the expenses you’d suffered because of your injuries. These are called special damages. If you’ve incurred any of the below costs or losses, your lawyer could include them within your claim:
- Medical costs – these could be costs for medicines and treatments such as counselling or physiotherapy, for example.
- Travel costs – these could include transport fares, petrol or car park charges for trips to the hospital or to meet with your lawyer
- Care costs – if you’ve needed help with feeding, washing or dressing, and there are costs associated with such care
- Earning losses – if your wage has been lower because you’ve not been able to work
It is crucial that you retain any proof you can of the losses and expenses you’ve sustained because of your injuries. If you aren’t able to prove that you suffered costs or losses associated with your injuries, you won’t be able to claim for them.
One of the answers to the question of ‘why do most injury solicitors charge 25% success fees?’ is that many injury solicitors work on a No Win No Fee basis. What this means is that you wouldn’t be required to pay them if your claim were to fail.
Such claims are documented under a Conditional Fee Agreement. This is a contract that you would be asked to sign before your lawyer could begin to work on your claim.
The Conditional Fee Agreement outlines the level of personal injury claim success fee you would pay once your lawyer secured you a settlement. As we mentioned, there is a cap on this of 25%. This would only be paid if your lawyer obtained a settlement for you, whether via negotiating directly with the liable party/insurers or through the courts.
If you were not given a settlement, you would not pay the costs that your solicitor had incurred while in pursuit of compensation on your behalf.
If you would like to learn more about No Win No Fee claims, our team would be happy to answer any questions you might have over the phone. They could also provide you with a personal injury solicitor to begin your claim for you.
As we mentioned before, not only could we answer any questions you might have about the personal injury claims process, we could also check if you are eligible to claim. All you need to do is get in touch with us, and our friendly team will speak to you about your case, asking questions about any incident that may have caused you injury or illness.
Once we have all the details we need, we will be able to tell you whether we believe you could claim compensation. We do not charge for eligibility checks, and you are under no obligation to use our services, either.
However, we would like to help you get the compensation you deserve, and we could provide you with a quality solicitor to help you. We are proud to have achieved compensation settlements under No Win No Fee terms for many claimants before. Our lawyers come highly recommended, as you can see from our reviews.
Now you know why most injury solicitors charge 25% success fees, and the value they could bring to your claim, you might wish to find a lawyer to help you. Or, you may have further questions and are looking for advice on your eligibility to make a claim. Either way, we’d be glad to help. You can contact us:
- By telephone: 0800 073 8804
- By sending an e-mail to email@example.com
- By filling out our online form
- Or, by using our Live Chat messaging service.
How Long Will I Have To Claim? – This guide explores the limitation period for personal injury claims and explains how long you might have to make a claim after an accident.
No Win No Fee – We discuss No Win No Fee claims in more detail in this guide. If you’re considering making a claim, this may be of interest to you.
Who Pays For Criminal Injury Claims? – This guide looks at who pays the costs for criminal injury claims.
Claiming Compensation For Injury – This government guide offers some insight into compensation for personal injury.
Civil Justice Reform – Here, you can read more on Civil Justice Reform.
Can You Claim Back Solicitors Fees? – If you believe a solicitor has made unfair compensation deductions, this guide explains what you could do to claim back a wrong deduction.
Guide by Jeffries
Edited by Billing