Professional Negligence Claims – Funding Your Case – An Introduction
How Much Will it Cost and How Will I pay?
Understandably, you will have concerns about the costs of claiming compensation from your previous legal advisers.
- Existing Legal Expenses Insurance Policy
- No Win No Fee – Conditional Fee Agreement
Legal Expense Insurance (LEI)
You may already have existing insurance policies that will cover the costs of their claim. This could be in the form of motor insurance, credit/debit card or banking facilities, or even union membership. When you contact us, before we incur any costs, we will make further enquiries on your behalf about all possible options. These types of insurance are what are known as ‘Legal Expenses Insurance’ (LEI).
If there is a suitable policy in place, you will be protected against legal costs, according to the terms of the policy.
Sometimes existing policies cannot be utilised for a variety of reasons. If this is the case we will discuss the specifics and your options with you at that time.
No Win No Fee – Conditional Fee Agreements
If there is no existing LEI policy, in most cases, we will be able to act on a ‘no win no fee’ basis, by way of a ‘Conditional Fee Agreement’ (CFA).
The terms of these agreements mean that if your claim is successful, the costs of your claim are paid for by your previous legal advisers. If your claim is unsuccessful, it is usual under the terms of the CFA for our costs to be written off.
What Charges are Incurred and Covered by the LEI or CFA?
Provided that you provide all necessary information and co-operate fully, the following are all covered by the LEI policy or CFA.
There are various costs and expenses incurred in a professional negligence claim, but these can generally be split into three categories:
- Our charges for work done on your behalf
Our charges can be split into 2 main sections ie ‘Basic Charges’ and a ‘Success Fee’.
- Our basic charges are calculated on hourly rates dependent on the lawyer carrying out the work. We will provide full details at the outset of your claim.
- Our success fee, which forms part of the CFA, is a percentage of the eventual sum recovered, calculated in relation to our risk in taking on your case. The more complicated the claim, the higher the risk and therefore the higher the success fee.
(Expenses we have to pay on your behalf to third parties, for example court fees, barristers fees, or medical report fees). These will be recoverable in successful claims. In unsuccessful claims they will usually be covered by ‘After the Event’ Insurance. (see below)
- Opposition costs.
You will not be liable for any of the opposition’s costs in an unsuccessful claim except in cases where you have failed to comply with the terms of the agreement, or for example where you eventually recover less than an offer previously made by the other side. Again, these will usually be covered by ‘After the Event’ Insurance.
After the Event Insurance
As with all forms of litigation, there is a risk that you will lose, for one reason or another. For these reasons, if we have to issue court proceedings, we may recommend that you take out an ‘After the Event’ insurance policy to protect yourself from these charges. The premium for this insurance policy will depend on the type and value of your claim, but will not be payable until the end of the case. Again, if the claim is unsuccessful, it is usual for the costs to be written off.
We appreciate that you will not want to worry about ending up out of pocket as a result of making a professional negligence claim. Please rest assured that our expert team can help you with any enquiry you may have before you instruct us.