Personal Injury Claim – What will it cost me?
Realistically there will be a deduction of 25% from your personal injury claim damages in respect of your own legal costs but there are no hidden traps.
We do not usually ask for money for expenses or legal costs up-front before the case is concluded (at which point they usually get paid by the other side’s insurance company) e.g. medical report £500.00, court fees £250.00 etc.
There are no hidden administrative charges, consumer credit interest payments on loans, exorbitant legal fees to come out of your damages.
If you are unsuccessful we will usually have worked on the basis of a No Win/No Fee agreement so if you lose you do not have to pay your (this firm’s) legal fees.
If your claim were to be unsuccessful then you are likely to be covered by “Qualified One Way Costs Shifting” (known as QOCS). One way costs shifting means that under normal circumstances, if you lose you do not have to pay the Defendant’s legal costs other than to the extent of any damages that you recover. This means at worst you end up at zero but no outstanding debt or liability for the other side’s legal costs.
This is “qualified” in that there are certain circumstances where you can lose this protection if your claim were to be struck out for having no reasonable grounds or abuse of the court process, conduct likely to obstruct the “just disposal of proceedings” or fundamental dishonesty. These qualified circumstances tend most frequently to be applied to fraudulent claims.
Although the reality is that in practice virtually all our clients go away with 75% of the damages without having to pay anything more over and above the 25% deduction for their own legal costs to cover ourselves we have to tell you about the exceptions.
These exceptions to the general rule are really to cover those people who bring bogus claims or exaggerate their injuries or losses or behave unreasonably. The exceptions to the rule are not a back-door way to take more out of your damages and almost overwhelmingly in reality do not apply. Most people think they will be the unlucky one who will be caught by the charges but it hardly ever happens in practice.
- The cases which tend to be exceptions are those where our Client behaves so unreasonably that the other side does not have to pay our Client’s legal costs.
- The usual examples are where a person has made up the claim from start to finish or deliberately lied or exaggerated throughout.
- Alternatively they are responsible for things which have sabotaged their own claim or increased expense unnecessarily such as never replying to letters or not turning up for their own trials or medical examinations.
- Some cases are brought to us so late and/or are so poor that we cannot pursue them on a No Win/No Fee basis or get “After the Event” legal expense insurance. If our client still wishes to pursue them on such a basis then there is obviously some risk but we would discuss this at some length before going ahead.
- If you instruct us to commission a second medical expert because you disagree with an expert’s report then you may have to pay for the first unused report (although this depends upon the validity of your reasons for disagreeing).
- Payment for medical treatment where treatment has been on the basis of payment at the end e.g. physio/osteopath treatment.
- Non-attendance fees charged when claimants do not turn up for their own medical expert report appointments (because those fees cannot be recovered from the other side).
- This is not an exhaustive list.