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FUNDING YOUR PERSONAL INJURY CLAIM

 

The claims process itself may seem very daunting, especially if you are concerned about ending up with a big bill at the end of your case. At Lance Mason, we can assure you that this won’t be the case.  There are several ways of funding you case, which are as follows:-


 1.       Existing legal expense insurance (‘LEI’)

You may have existing LEI on a home or car insurance policy or even attached to your bank account or credit cards. Often these types of policy do not cover legal expenses from the start of the claim however we will make the necessary enquiries for you and advise you of the same.

 

 2.       Conditional Fee Agreement (often referred to as a No Win No Fee Agreement)

What is ‘no win no fee’?

“No win no fee” is another term used for a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA) which outlines the terms in which a solicitor will get paid for managing your case. Under a no win no fee agreement, you will not have to pay a fee if your solicitor does not win your case and this right is protected when you sign a CFA. Therefore, the agreement ensures that you are protected financially in the event that your claim is unsuccessful.

If your case is not successful, you will not have to make any payment of our legal fees, except in a few uncommon situations:

  1. You fail to cooperate with us or fail to provide instructions to allow us to do our work properly (for example you fail to attend a medical examination we arrange for you);
  2. You ask us to act in an improper or unreasonable way (for example, you instruct us to put forward unrealistic settlement proposals to the Defendant);
  3. You deliberately mislead us (for example you knowingly provide us with false information for the pursuit of financial gain);
  4. You disagree with our advice (and are unable to supply any evidence which may alter our opinion);
  5. You cancel your instructions AFTER the 14 day cooling off period.

 

If your case is successful, you are liable for payment of our legal fees, this is known as a ‘success fee’. The success fee can never be more than 100% of our basic charges and is capped at a maximum of 25% of:

  • (i) general damages for pain suffering and loss of amenity; and
  • (ii) damages for past losses.

A Conditional Fee Agreement is the most popular method of funding a claim such as yours as it poses least ‘risk’ to you in terms of having to make payment of our costs;

 

After the Event Insurance (ATE)

Whilst your legal expenses insurance may cover you in respect of our legal costs, they do not cover you in respect of any invoices (disbursements) incurred throughout the duration of your claim, for example, a medical report fee, medical record fee, DVLA fee and so on.  Such fees will escalate as the case progresses. If your claim is successful, these will be recovered from the Defendant. If your claim is unsuccessful, you are liable for payment of these fees.

Also, not all other methods of funding cover you in respect of the other party’s costs. Whilst your claim benefits from Qualified One Way Costs Shifting (‘QOCS’) which means that ordinarily you would not be liable for the other party’s costs if you lose your claim, there are some occasions where costs still may be payable to the other party. One such scenario may be where you win your case but fail to beat an offer put forward by the Defendant earlier in the claim.

We therefore recommend that you take out an after the event insurance policy. Lance Mason will pay for the policy upfront and the premium will only be payable by you if your claim is successful. In this instance, the premium will be deducted from your damages at the conclusion of the case.

If your claim is unsuccessful, the premium will be effectively written off and the ATE insurer will make payment of our disbursements and the other party’s costs (if any), subject to you having complied with the conditions of the insurance policy.

 

What are the benefits?

  • You do not need to worry about receiving a large bill at the end of your claim
  • The agreement offers a considerable amount of financial security
  • The agreement allows ordinary people to seek the compensation they deserve


3.       Private Paying

This means that you would pay for our services on an hourly basis; so whether you win or lose, you will be liable for payment of our costs and disbursements.

All time is charged as 6 minute units (1/10th of an hour) of time including the time spent on making and taking telephone calls, answering emails and considering incoming correspondence. For the sake of clarity e-mails will be treated as correspondence.

Our current hourly rates are set out below:

Grade of Fee Earner

Hourly Rate

A

Solicitors and legal executives with over 8 years’ experience

£350.00

B

Solicitors and legal executives with over 4 years’ experience

£250.00

C

Other solicitors or legal executives and fee earners of equivalent experience*

£185.00

D

Trainee Solicitors, paralegals and other Fee Earners

£111.00

 

* Equivalent experience is defined as a minimum of 4 years of relevant experience including any relevant academic experience.

 

We will add VAT to these charges at the rate that applies when the work is done. In addition to the time spent, we may take into account a number of factors including any need to carry out work outside our normal office hours, the complexity of the issues, and the speed at which action has to be taken and any particular specialist expertise which the case may demand. Our fees will be increased accordingly to reflect this.

 

This is not a recommended way to fund your claim due to other more viable options being available to you.

If you like any more information about the different funding methods available to you, please do not hesitate to contact us on 01254 263 885.