The Government is proposing wholesale changes to the way in which your potential claim for compensation is funded.
At present, most claims are funded on a ‘No Win No Fee’ basis. This means that win or lose, you the Claimant are not out of pocket.
The Current Position
If you lose your case, we, your Solicitors receive nothing. An insurance policy pays for the expenses we have incurred on your behalf, for example obtaining a medical report on the injuries you have sustained, and also your opponent’s costs.
If your claim succeeds, you get 100% of your damages. We, your solicitors recover our costs, together with a success fee and the insurance premium. The success fee is calculated on the basis of the risks involved in running your claim. It covers the risk we are taking that we work on your case without being paid, the risk that we will never be paid (should your case be unsuccessful) and also for the work done on abandoned cases, which we would not otherwise get paid for.
What the Government proposes
In essence the Government proposes that success fees and Insurance Premiums can no longer be recovered from your Opponent. This would mean that you the Claimant would be out of pocket. You would have to pay the success fee out of your damages. To cover this, a 10% increase of part in part of your damages is proposed. However, this will not work in practice. If your damages are £2,500 and the success fee is 25% (£625), how can an increase of 10% of £2,500 (£250) balance this? You would be worse off.
The Government also proposes that your case should be funded by what is known as a Contingency Fee Agreement. This means that we the solicitor would have to enter into an agreement with you, whereby you agree to pay us a percentage (which would be set at say 25%) of your damages if you win your case. Again, you would lose out.
The aim of compensation is to put you, the injured party (through no fault of your own) back in the position you would have been in had your accident not occurred. Compensation is therefore not designed to be a windfall for you. It may often include an amount in respect of earnings you have lost as a result of not being able to work following your accident because of your injuries.
If you want to keep 100% of your compensation, please complete the survey below, to support us in lobbying against the Government’s proposed changes.