There is often mass scepticism when people hear advertisements from lawyers saying they will work on your compensation case "No Win, No Fee". Questions might arise such as "will they take my case if I may not win", or "surely they will want some payment".
If that is you, then all of your questions will be answered below.
Firstly, the point should be made that the "No Win, No Fee" arrangement is designed to benefit customers (or clients). Often there is an inability to access legal services due to high hourly rates and costs. With a "No Win, No Fee" agreement, that issue is removed; All people, regardless of their background or financial circumstances can seek legal advice.
That being the case, the question might be asked "will they look at my case if it is not clear cut or straight forward". The answer will inevitably be yes. Whilst some cases may not have any prospects of succeeding (for example if someone causes their own injury), if there appears to be any possibility that a compensation claim is available, a lawyer will investigate.
In those cases, the lawyer will contact witnesses and try to gather documents relating to the cause of the injury. This can often be a long process, but it is a very important part of the claim. Once all information is gathered, generally the lawyer will be able to provide an opinion about whether the case should proceed (based on chances of success).
Ultimately, the choice of whether to proceed should be yours. Provided there are "reasonable prospects" the lawyer will agree to continue.
If your chances of succeeding are low, then the lawyer will likely advise you not proceed any further. This is not advice given for the lawyer's benefit; rather it is advice given because if you lose your case then you could become responsible to pay the insurer's legal costs. This is always a risk which the lawyer will consider, and they will provide the advice in your best interests.
If the case does not continue, then you will not be charged for the time, effort or expertise invested by the lawyer into your case. However, often the agreement will require you to pay for the disbursements or outlays (such as medical records or report). This is because the lawyer is out-of-pocket for those expenses, and whilst they will not charge you for their own time, it is unreasonable for them to be out of pocket.
If your case continues and you receive compensation, then the lawyer will receive payment for the time which they have invested into the case.
The full details of any "No Win, No Fee" agreement must be disclosed to you by law. The agreement will be clear and understandable to the average person. If you have any questions about the agreement, you can raise them with your lawyer before signing (or you can seek independent advice about it).
To summarise all of that information above, the "No Win, No Fee" agreement is not designed to trick you. The process will be transparent, and the lawyer will be open and honest with you about it.
If you are unsure about seeking advice, we are always willing to speak with you about the case and to give you an initial assessment as to whether investigations are worthwhile. That discussion will be free of cost and obligation.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.