An Explanation of “No Win No Fee” for Whiplash Injuries Claims

“No Win, No Fee” for whiplash injuries claims were first introduced by solicitors in the mid-1990s as a means of providing claimants who were ineligible for Legal Aid a route to compensation when they had sustained a whiplash injury due to the negligence of some person or persons who owed them a duty of care. As access to Legal Aid was further eroded by subsequent Governments, “No Win, No Fee” for whiplash injuries claims became established as the most popular way of recovering compensation when sustaining a whiplash injury due to the carelessness of a third party.

If you have sustained a whiplash injury in an accident for which you were not to blame, you may be entitled to claim compensation under conditional fee agreements or, as they are more frequently referred to, “No Win, No Fee” for whiplash injuries claims. Under conditional fee agreements, a solicitor will waive the charge for their legal services if they fail to win your “No Win, No Fee” claim for whiplash injuries compensation; however, as you will see on this page, “No Win, No Fee” for whiplash injuries claims are not always free and do not guarantee that you will receive 100 percent of your compensation.

Eligibility to Make “No Win, No Fee” Whiplash Injuries Claims

In order to be eligible to make “No Win, No Fee” claims for whiplash injuries compensation, you should already have a strong case established. Most “No Win, No Fee” for whiplash injuries claims solicitors will offer legal representation under a conditional fee agreement if your claim for whiplash injury compensation is at least 75 percent likely to be successful. Therefore, if you already have material evidence in support of your whiplash injury claim available, you should bring this to the attention of your solicitor when first enquiring about “No Win, No Fee” for whiplash injuries compensation. Depending on the circumstances of your whiplash injury, material evidence could consist of:-

  • A doctor´s report of your whiplash injury and the length of time your recovery may take
  • A police report of the accident if your whiplash injury was sustained in a traffic accident, or
  • A copy of the whiplash injury report made in a workplace or shop “Accident Report Book”
  • Details of people or colleagues who saw your accident and would support your whiplash claim
  • The negligent party´s contact details and those of their insurers if known
  • Photographic or video footage taken at the scene of your accident
  • Receipts and invoices for any expenses you have incurred due to your for whiplash injury
  • Details of any whiplash injury report made to the Health & Safety Executive under the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations (RIDDOR) if applicable

If you do not have any of the above material evidence, you should not wait to speak with a solicitor at the first practical opportunity after sustaining a whiplash injury in an accident for which you were not to blame. It is not essential that you provide this information straightaway to be eligible to make a “No Win, No Fee” for whiplash injuries compensation claim and your solicitor will understand if you are not in any physical condition to access these details.

Potential Liability if you Lose Your Whiplash Injuries Claim

“No Win, No Fee” for whiplash injuries claims are not necessarily free of financial liability should you lose your claim: for although a solicitor will waive their legal fees if they fail to win your “No Fee, No Fee” for whiplash injuries claim for compensation, you will still be liable for the defendant´s legal costs and possibly any expenses your solicitor has incurred in the preparation of your whiplash injury claim for disbursements and court fees.

Consequently, “No Win, No Fee” for whiplash injuries claims solicitors will ask what legal fees insurance you already possess - for example attached to a car insurance policy - prior to offering you “No Win, No Fee” legal representation and, if the insurance cover is considered inadequate, will recommend that you take additional insurance to eliminate any risk of financial exposure.

You are often permitted to defer the premium for an “After the Event” insurance policy until such time as the outcome of your for whiplash injury claim is known — at which point the negligent party´s insurers will pay for the policy if your case is won, or the policy will pay for itself if your “No Win, No Fee” for whiplash injuries compensation claim is unsuccessful.

Potential Liability if you Win Your Whiplash Injuries Claim

An “After the Event” insurance policy can also eliminate any risk of financial exposure when “No Win, No Fee” for whiplash injuries claims for compensation are successful. Although it is customary for the negligent party´s insurers to pay your solicitor´s legal fees when you win your “No Win, No Fee” for whiplash injuries claim; should your solicitor´s legal fees, disbursements and their success fee come to an amount which is considered excessive by a court, you would be personally liable for any shortfall. It may also be the case that the negligent defendant has inadequate insurance to pay your solicitor´s legal fees - in which case you may also be liable for your own solicitor´s costs.

Other circumstances in which you may not receive 100 per cent of your whiplash injury compensation settlement are if you have been in receipt of State benefits to cover loss of income, medical expenses or loss of mobility since your whiplash injury was sustained, or if you have declined a time-limited offer of whiplash injury compensation made to you prior to court action which was of greater value than awarded by the court. In the latter scenario, you could be responsible for your own court costs, plus a proportion of the negligent party´s legal fees since the expiry of the offer - even though you won your “No Win, No Fee” for whiplash injuries compensation claim.

“No Win, No Fee” Whiplash Injuries Claims Solicitors

Each claim for whiplash injury compensation is independently considered by a “No Win, No Fee” whiplash injuries claims solicitor and accepted or declined on its own merits. A “No Win, No Fee” whiplash injuries claims solicitor should present you with the terms and conditions of the conditional fee agreement before you agree to “No Win, No Fee” legal representation and make certain that you comprehend the liabilities that you may be exposed to under such an agreement.

The acceptance of your claim for whiplash injury compensation under a “No Win, No Fee” conditional fee agreement is no guarantee of success and similarly, if a solicitor declines to provide “No Win, No Fee” legal representation, it does not mean that your whiplash injury compensation claim is not worth your while to pursue - there may be economic or legal reasons why your whiplash injury claim is declined or there may be more suitable funding options depending on your personal circumstances and those of your whiplash injury.

Proposed Changes to “No Win, No Fee” Whiplash Injuries Claims

The Government intends to make changes to the way in which “No Win, No Fee” whiplash injuries claims are handled in the forthcoming Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Bill 2012. Although precise details of how “No Win, No Fee” whiplash injuries compensation claims will be affected are not yet known, it is in your best interests to speak with a “No Win, No Fee” whiplash injuries claims solicitor at the earliest possible opportunity to ensure that the information published on this page is still up-to-date.

To help you obtain accurate and current information about “No Win, No Fee” whiplash injuries claims for compensation, we have set up a free Legal Advice Bureau which you are invited to call on freephone our phone number if you have any questions about your eligibility to make “No Win, No Fee” claims for whiplash injuries compensation or would like to know more about protecting yourself from financial liabilities when making a “No Win, No Fee” whiplash injuries claim.

Our telephone lines are open twenty four hours a day, seven days a week, and any sensitive information disclosed to our “No Win, No Fee” whiplash injuries solicitors is entirely confidential. Please note that you are not obliged to proceed with a “No Win, No Fee” whiplash injuries compensation claim once you have spoken with us and, if now is not a good time to give us a call, please take advantage of our call-back request forms to arrange for one of our “No Win, No Fee” whiplash injuries claims solicitors to call you when it is more convenient.

Can can read more here about whiplash injury claims.