Thursday, 4 August 2011

Accident Claims

Accident claims are a great source of stress for many people in the days and weeks following an accident. Do you need a solicitor or not?  If so, what kind?  Many solicitors specialise now, and choosing correctly can make a difference in the success or failure of your claim. 

Should you choose to utilise the services of a solicitor, there are a number of payment schemes available depending on where you live, your income, and the type of compensation requested.  For example, in England and Wales, you can choose to use the services of “no win no fee” solicitors.  These people will consider your case, and if they accept it, they do so on a conditional basis: they will only receive compensation if you do. 

Under this scheme, you owe no fees to the solicitor if you lose your case.  If you win, you will have to pay a much higher fee to the solicitor than you otherwise would, but of course this can be deducted from your winnings.  The solicitor is taking a risk in accepting your case on this “contingency” basis, and wishes to be rewarded for that risk. 

In either case, you will usually be responsible for the solicitor’s fees.  These can include barristers’ fees if the case goes to court, as well as fees for copying and reporting, court fees, and travelling expenses.  In many cases these “out of pocket” fees are not included in a no win no fee agreement, and you’ll need to be prepared to pay for them yourself.

‘No win no fee’ agreements can be very beneficial, but make sure you completely understand the agreement into which you are entering.

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