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Why Do Most Injury Solicitors Charge 25% Success Fees?

By Cat Way. Last Updated 7th June 2022. 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. 

Why do most injury solicitors charge 25% success fees guide

Why do most injury solicitors charge 25% success fees guide

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.

Do All Solicitors Take A 25 Percent Fee For Their Services?

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.

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What Is A Success Fee?

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%.

Why Do Solicitors Charge A 25% Fee?

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.

What Legal Changes Have Been Made To Success Fees And Claims?

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.

How Much Compensation Could I Receive?

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.

What Are Special Damages?

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.

No Win No Fee Solicitors Handling Injury Claims

Making a claim for personal injury compensation might seem complex or daunting, but one of our solicitors may be able to help. Our solicitors offer their services under a kind of No Win No Fee arrangement known as a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA).

Under this kind of agreement, you aren’t required to pay any upfront or ongoing fees for your solicitor’s services. Similarly, if your claim fails, you aren’t expected to pay any fees for the work your solicitor has done on your claim.

If your solicitor succeeds with your claim, you will pay them a legally capped success fee. This amount is deducted from your compensation award and is capped at 25% under a CFA.

To find out if you could be eligible to work with one of our solicitors, contact our advisors today. They can answer any questions you might have, such as ‘What is a success fee?’ and ‘How can a No Win No Fee solicitor help me?’. Follow the information below to get started.

Begin An Injury Claim

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:

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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.

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