What is a no win no fee agreement?
No Win No Fee is the terminology that is often used to describe the Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA) that is taken out between the solicitor and the client. This agreement will be signed by the you and will enable your solicitor to proceed with the case on the understanding that you will not have to pay the costs if they lose the claim.
If you win your case then either the courts or the third party’s insurers will make an award of damages. The third party’s insurers will be required to pay your legal costs as well as expenses.
Because your own solicitor doesn’t make a charge if you lose, the third party’s Solicitor or insurers might. This is where After the Event Insurance (ATE) comes into play. ATE insurance is designed to protect you from the risk of paying the costs from either your solicitor or the costs incurred by the third party’s solicitor or insurers in the event that your claim for compensation is discontinued or lost at trial.
Will my claim need to go to Court?
Most claims for compensation are settled without even going near a court. Only a small number of claims go to court. You will not be obliged to go to court and a typical reason for the claim proceeding to court is if you are not happy with the compensation that has been offered to you or you decide to go to court instead of your solicitor.
Will I have to attend for a medical examination?
Yes. In most injury claims, the solicitor need a medical report from an independent medical expert in order to calculate the compensation claim. The medical expert will obtain your medical records from your GP and produces a balanced report that is sent to your solicitor.
Can I recover medical expenses?
Yes. The costs for medical expenses can be recovered and reimbursed to either you or your insurance company depending on who has paid for them. Such costs that be recovered include prescription charges, and even private medical expenses if you have been sent to a private medical examiner.
Is Legal Aid still available?
Yes. Legal Aid is available only in a very limited number of cases but is still available. Legal Aid can be awarded in cases of particular public interest or is an extremely high cost case.
What is Before the Event Insurance?
Before the Event Insurance (BTE) is taken out as an addition to other insurance policies, such as home contents, buildings policies, credit cards or other club memberships. Trade Unions can sometimes operate BTE schemes as well.
What is After the Event Insurance?
After the Event Insurance (ATE) is a policy that can be taken out by your solicitor, on your behalf. This is taken out to ensure that in the event of your claim not being successful you are not left liable for the payment of any legal disbursements made by your solicitor and the third party’s solicitors. If your claim is successful, the cost of the premium is usually recovered. If your claim is unsuccessful, the ATE premium is a self insured premium.
Before an ATE policy is taken out you need to make sure that you do not have a valid BTE insurance policy.