Changes To The ‘No Win No Fee’ System
On the 1st April this year some important changes took place in regards to personal injury. The Legal Aid, Sentencing & Punishment of Offenders Act was adopted by British Law. This Act is meant to discourage false or exaggerated personal injury claims.
The Act will still allow people to claim for a personal injury on a no win no fee basis and if the claimant is unsuccessful they will not be expected to pay any legal fees. However if the individual is successful then they will be charged the ‘success fee’, which will be deducted from their final settlement figure. Previous to this, the losing side would cover the fee plus the claimant’s legal costs.
Although the new Act may help deter false claims, personal injury lawyers are concerned about how the Act could affect ordinary people with real and serious claims. Settlement figures for personal injury claims are calculated by both the physical and psychological damage caused and by financial losses and cost of care the individual has had as a result of the injury. The success fee, that in some cases can be up to 25% of the total figure, could therefore have a negative impact on genuinely injured people as the settlement figure may no longer be enough to cover the damages and financial losses incurred.
There is also the fear that some people who have a genuine claim may not pursue it due to the fact they may feel it may not be worth the effort or costs, this could especially be the case if their claim is at the lower end of the financial spectrum.
If you have sustained a genuine injury and would like to make a personal injury claim or are unsure of how the Legal Aid, Sentencing & Punishment of Offenders Act could affect your case please contact our personal injury specialists on 01295 759400