Legal Expenses Insurance
You may have a personal injury insurance policy prior to the accident, which will cover your legal costs. Alternatively you may take a policy out afterwards. Legal insurance will normally cover you against having to pay the legal costs of pursuing a personal injury case.
This can be full cover - where the personal injury insurance covers your legal expenses as well as the expenses of the other party, or adverse cover - where the insurance will not cover your own solicitor's costs. In personal injury cases where only adverse cover is available your solicitor should agree to act under a no win no fee agreement (conditional fee agreement).
If you already have a policy of legal expenses insurance at the time of your accident then your insurer will almost certainly appoint a personal injury solicitor for you. It is a gamble as to the solicitor you are appointed. Some are very good, some are not so good, but for many of them, the only concern is settling the personal injury case so that they can be paid.
You will probably be advised by your insurer that you have to use the solicitor appointed by them. This is simply not true. You have an absolute entitlement to instruct any personal injury solicitor you wish and if you are not happy with the solicitor they appoint then you are entitled to change.
If the personal injury case is difficult some legal expenses insurers are likely to withdraw cover. They are happy to take your money, but do not want to have the risk of paying out on the policy. Often the rejection of the case will be on the advice of your appointed solicitor. Just because they are not prepared to back your case does not mean you have no case. We have often take over successful claims where the appointed legal expenses insurer's solicitor has said there is no case.
If you do not already have a legal expense insurance policy in place then, as long as you have reasonable prospects of succeeding, an after-the-event insurance policy can be obtained for you. 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 personal injury 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, then these expenses will be paid by the losing party ensuring that the service is completely free to you. We offer a no-obligation initial consultation for personal injury claims. If it goes no further there is no charge.