By Kirsty Fleeman
The majority of personal injury cases are dealt with by way of a Conditional Fee Agreement. Conditional Fee Agreements are better known as ‘no win, no fee’ agreements. If successful the Claimant’s Solicitor will attempt to recover their costs from the Defendant. If the claim is unsuccessful then no fee will be payable by the client. (The only exception to this is if the Claimant’s Solicitor believes the claim to be fraudulent or the client has been uncooperative.)
In order that the Claimant’s Solicitor is not out of pocket should the claim be unsuccessful, enquiries are made to discover whether the Claimant has any legal expenses insurance. Legal expenses insurance is often included with house and motor insurance or with trade union membership. Legal expenses insurance is what is says it is, insurance to cover legal costs. The Claimants Solicitor will always attempt to recover their costs from the Defendant if successful, but if unsuccessful they may use the legal expenses insurance to cover the costs incurred in investigating the claim.
If the Claimant does not have any legal expenses insurance the Claimant’s Solicitor may set up After the Event Insurance (ATE Insurance). After the Event Insurance provides the same insurance as legal expenses insurance, however should the claim be successful a premium will be payable by the Defendant for the risk the insurers have undertook. If the claim is unsuccessful then no premium will be payable and the ATE insurer will pay the Solicitors reasonable costs and disbursements.
It is because of the premium payable by the Defendant, that the Claimant’s Solicitor must make all necessary enquiries to ensure the Claimant has no existing legal expenses cover. Should the Claimant’s Solicitor not have made these enquiries the Defendant may refuse to pay the premium.
For further information on the above, or on how to make a claim, please contact our Personal Injury team, free on 0800 131 36 36. Alternatively, please fill in our contact form and we will give you a call back.