No Win No Fee Lawyers
You will probably have seen many law firms advertise “no win no fee” arrangements, especially for personal injury cases, vehicle accidents and workers compensation. In fact, it is difficult to watch television without seeing this type of advertising.
These law firms are offering no upfront fees for their services while your compensation claim is being progressed. This can sound very appealing, especially if you have limited financial resources. In addition, they are saying that, if they don’t win your case, they will not charge a fee. If they do win, when acting on your behalf, a fee becomes payable.
There are several matters to review when considering whether to use one of these law firms. There are obvious benefits arising from a “no win no fee” arrangement, especially if you don’t have the financial resources to pay in advance. There are also risks.
When approaching one of these law firms you should be aware that they will assess the circumstances to determine the probability of success and will reject you as a client if they think there is not much chance of winning, or your case is too difficult or time consuming.
Many people are injured in workplace accidents each year, often in situations where somebody is at fault. Law firms are familiar with the broad scope of these types of issues and know whether there is a likelihood of successful legal action. They are not really taking significant risks with their “no win no fee” offer.
The advantages of “no win no fee”
One of the advantages of the heavy advertising of “no win no fee” legal services is that it has made a broader range of people aware that it may not be too difficult to take legal action and gain some compensation when they have been injured and can’t work.
The nature of the advertising encourages a desire to act – to pursue fairness – and it allays inhibitions.
The disadvantages of “no win no fee”
Despite the obvious benefits of “no win no fee” agreements, it is worth thinking about the value of more traditional arrangements. Although some of the financial risks of making a claim are reduced using a “no win no fee” arrangement, the success fee could result in a huge proportion of settlement going, not to the client, but to the solicitor. On top of that, in the situation of an unsuccessful claim, in some circumstances, depending on the contract you signed, you might still be required to compensate your lawyer for a variety of expenses.
If you are considering a “no win no fee” contract with a law firm, you need to think about the risks and hidden costs. You should review the contract carefully before signing. There is nothing more disappointing than having your lawyers win your compensation case to then find that much of your compensation pay out goes to legal fees.
Before signing your “no win no fee” contract, check the details thoroughly. If you don’t understand the contract pay a small fee to an independent lawyer to review the contract. (Roberts Gray Lawyers will do this free of charge.)
In simple terms, the key issue is this: just because you don’t have to pay your lawyer’s fees if he/she loses your case does not mean you will be out of pocket. You could be charged for investigations and reports, court fees and general operating costs such as copying and printing documents.
Things to consider
You should keep in mind that many compensation claims don’t actually make it to court. They are settled through a quick negotiation process. The lawyers meet, possibly with you present, and come to a settlement. At this point, depending on the details of your contract, a range of fees may be payable.
Some lawyers offer a free consultation to assess the chances of your claim being being successful. This a good thing. Lawyers should also be able to give an assessment of how much you might be awarded. You can then decide whether you want to proceed but you should carefully read the details of the contract offered to you. Better still, have an expert review the contract before you sign. Check the particulars. You might be setting yourself up for thousands of dollars in fees, win or lose.
Law firm contracts are not all the same and another “no win no fee” law firm may charge lower fees than the one you are talking to. Sometimes you simply do not get as much of your pay out as you anticipated. Some law firms charge high fees for the cases they win to make up for getting no money for the cases they don’t win. Be wary of contracts that charge hourly rates.
Workers compensation and injury claims can be very important for your financial security. Be wary of advertising campaigns and get advice before signing “no win no fee” contracts.