Legal Costs -
Personal Injury Claims
The general rule is that if you win your personal injury claim then your opponent pays your legal costs. If you bring an unsuccessful personal injury claim then you would normally have to pay your opponent's costs. When you go to court costs are payable in addition to any damages, so do not agree to any arrangement where someone gets a share of your damages.
You can agree to pay your own personal injury solicitor's costs whatever the result, or only if you win. The arrangement where you only pay if you win is called a "Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA)", but is more commonly referred to as "no win, no fee agreement". We also take on the risk with you and we work together to achieve the end result. In return we are also entitled to seek a success fee if you win. All costs, including the success fee, are then sought from the other side. We believe in payment by results and recommend a CFA to anyone pursuing litigation.
Legal costs generally cover the following (this list is not intended to be exhaustive):
- The time spent working on your case
- Medical reports
- Obtaining GP notes & Hospital notes
- Court fees
- Accident Report fees (usually Police Accident reports)
- Travel expenses
- Barrister's fees
- Legal expenses insurance fees
Insurance is available to guard against the possibility of you being ordered to pay the other side's costs should you lose (known as a Legal Expense Insurance policy). If you do not have a policy already then we have an arrangement with a leading Legal Expenses Insurance provider who will provide cover on every case we recommend to them. If you have such cover then the insurance provider will withdraw this cover if you do not co-operate with or follow our advice. Where you are liable to pay legal costs then you are entitled to ask the Court to assess what is a fair and reasonable amount.
Summary of Costs
The law states that if the case is lost, then the losing party pays the winners' costs. To ensure that you do not have to cover any court costs, we take out an 'after the event' (ATE) insurance policy on your behalf. This type of insurance policy is specifically designed to protect clients whose claims are potentially unsuccessful.
The cost of the ATE insurance policy is deferred until the end of the case. If the compensation claim is successful, the opposition covers the cost. If the case is lost, no payment is required, as the premium is self insuring. If we pay your medical fees, court fees and other expenses (known as disbursements), the ATE insurance policy will cover the costs of these if the case is lost. If you win these expenses will be paid by the losing party ensuring that the service is completely free to you.