Personal Injury Solicitors
This year, the way personal injury cases are funded and paid for changed because of the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act. The act substantially altered the amount of legal expenses that solicitors can recover from the losing party and significantly changed the ‘no win no fee’ structure that solicitors have used for many years to ensure that victims of carelessness receive their rightful compensation.
Under the new guidelines we’ll continue to fight for the rights of those hurt or injured through no fault of their own with no risk to yourself. The new rules can be confusing and hard to understand but be assured that when you contact us you will not be asked to pay anything whatsoever up front, and even if your claim is unsuccessful by no fault of your own you’ll never be required to pay out anything to us.
Some firms in the legal world think that the act will deny innocent injury and accident victims access to justice as solicitors firms will struggle to survive and indeed we’ve already witnessed some firms either closing down permanently or else no longer offer help for victims of personal injury. Rest assured that Mercury Legal Online are here to stay and will ensure that you get the advice and help you need when you need it most.
Can I still claim no win no fee?
To begin with there’s some great news. Under the act all accidental injury awards for cases taken on after the 1st April 2013 will be raised by ten percent.
A big difference you’ll see will be in regards to the funding options we provide you once we accept your case and also how we deal with our expenses when your claim is settled :-
Private client funding
This has always been offered to our clients and even though we make clients aware of it, it is not an option we’d recommend. Under private client funding you pay us our fees as the case goes along and you look to recover the expense once your case settles.
What is a damage based agreement (DBA)?
Whilst damage based agreements have been in existence for several years the latest act has now allowed them to be used for personal accident cases. Very simply, there are a number of rules related to the agreements so this is not intended to be a guide to the law, if you enter a DBA then when you win your case you have to pay your solicitor up to twenty-five percent of your damages depending on what was agreed at the outset. In the majority of cases we believe that a majority of of our clients will not benefit from a DBA and although we’ll fully explain them to you, it is less likely that we will finance your case this way mainly because it will not be in your best interests.
What is a Conditional fee agreements (CFA)?
Conditional fee agreements are the finance option that almost all people are familiar with and are generally often known as ‘no win no fee’ agreements. Because of the new acts we can and do still offer this to our clients although the rules have changed:-
You will still pay absolutely nothing in advance and we will meet all of the costs on your case – solicitor’s fees, medical examination report costs, Court fees, etc.
If your case is not successful through no fault of your own then you won’t have to pay anything to anybody so you are in no financial risk.
At the outset of your case we’ll conduct a risk assessment and consider how likely it is your case will be successful, how much it is likely to ended up costing us to win (in terms of time and money) as well as the complexity of your case. Based on the outcome of the assessment we’ll expect you to pay a percentage of your compensation towards our costs at the conclusion of your case. This is capped at a maximum of twenty five per cent of the costs we have sustained and is only due if you win. Be aware that under the new rules your compensation award will have been increased by 10% to help pay for this and ensure that you keep the majority of the money you deserve.
What next – how do I make a claim?
Don’t let the latest funding rules discourage you obtaining the claims you’re rightfully and legally entitled to. It still costs you nothing to talk to us to find out if you may be able to make a claim and you’ll still pay absolutely nothing should you lose through no fault of your own.