The cost to pursue a personal injury claim in the United Kingdom depends on a few different factors. Before we get into them, however, we should also point out that you have a few different options when it comes to making a claim. You can either:
- Pursue a claim yourself through the Small Claims Court;
- Pursue a claim yourself through the defendant’s legal department;
- Hire a lawyer to make a claim on your behalf.
For most personal injury claims, that last option is the most beneficial. By hiring injury solicitors, you will not have to invest too much of your own time into the claims process and you can be confident that your case for compensation will be as strong as possible. Furthermore, by making a claim with a lawyer, you can get access to ‘no win, no fee’.
No win, no fee basics
Under a ‘no win, no fee’ agreement, you do not have any legal fees to pay upfront nor during the claims process. Your lawyer also only gets paid if they win your case. If your case loses, you do not have to pay your own lawyer’s fees.
However, the downside to such an agreement is that should your claim lose, you can still be billed by the other side who may wish to recover their costs. For this reason, reputable law firms require their clients to take out an ‘after the event’ insurance policy alongside their claim. This product does not, however, leave the claimant out of pocket in any way.
How much do lawyers charge?
Lawyers set their own rate and it is usually hourly. However, this is irrelevant in the grand scheme of things, because under a ‘no win, no fee’ agreement, a lawyer recovers their costs by taking a percentage of your compensation. By law, this can be no more than 25 per cent of the total compensation awarded. So for example, on a £10,000.00 claim, a solicitor is only able to take a maximum £2,500.00 as payment. This would leave you with £7,500.00.
It is important to consider also that some lawyers take less than 25 per cent as payment; and the amount a lawyer will take depends on the complexity of the case and the amount of time they put into it. So for example, if you claim £20,000.00 but your lawyer only invested minimal time into it (because it was clear-cut), they may take 15 per cent as payment, which works out as £3,000.00. However, you should clarify what percentage your solicitor will take upon claim success, so that you know exactly how much compensation you will receive.