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No Win No Fee


“No win no fee” – don’t be a monkey

When you suffer a personal injury whether that be physical or a mental injury or both your lawyer will investigate whether you should sue your employer, the owner of the vehicle or the doctor who operated upon you to name some examples.

The party who is sued on your behalf, in the main, will be covered by a ‘big insurance company’ which will engage its own lawyers to deal with your claim. The insurance company will have full details of all claims it has to consider and it will know which solicitors act for those injured parties.

If the claim is handled by a well-known “no win no fee” firm i.e. a firm that mainly practises in personal injury matters, then the insurer knows that the firm for the injured party is reliant upon the insurer paying the moneys to the injured party as soon as possible.

How personal injury matters work

In personal injury matters you must attend mediation and try to settle your claim before it goes to trial. The insurance company decides when it will be available for mediation and then which cases it will consider settling.

The big “no win no fee” firms can be under financial pressure and need to settle their client’s claims at mediation as a trial is very expensive and could take years to be heard and then for a Judgment to be delivered. Further, there could be a need for appeals which make the time longer and the costs greater.

The big “no win no fee” firms need to have some of their client’s claims settle on a regular basis in order to have their fees paid and then those fees cover the firm’s office expenses and high advertising costs. TV commercials and highway billboards are not cheap!

The more clients the big “no win no fee” firms have the more pressure is on them to get their fees paid. That is, they are under pressure to settle cases in order to receive payment of their fees.

The insurer is aware of this and so it has the ability to instruct its solicitors to take advantage of their superior position in the mediation by making offers at the lower end of the range of damages a Court might order at a trial.

What is the end result of this pressure?

The solicitor from the big “no win no fee” firm has to consider accepting what is clearly a lesser payment than their client might have been advised prior to mediation.

The solicitor acting for the injured party has to face going back to the office with no money to pay the firm’s bills. In that event the solicitor will have to prepare for trial, which may be a year or more away, and the “no win no fee” firm will have to continue to pay its solicitors and bills until the case is resolved and the insurance company pays the moneys ordered by the Court.

Can you afford to take the chance that your “no win no fee” firm has its own bills and bank manager at the forefront of its mind when your claim comes up for settlement?

So what can you do?

There are firms in Queensland, just like our firm, which offer an injured party client “no win no fee” agreements in personal injury and other matters and who, because of the diversity of the work performed, are not under any pressure to settle a client’s claim for anything less than the best possible outcome. Many firms just like ours do not charge higher fees, known as uplift fees, because you took up an offer of “no win no fee”. The big “no win no fee” firms are not the same.

In most cases you will not be responsible for the cause of your injury so there is no real risk of you losing the case. It is a matter of you having the solicitor who can obtain the best result for you in the shortest time and for the least cost.

Suffered an injury?

Don’t be a monkey when you choose your solicitor. You only get one payment for your injuries so you need to make the right choice when it comes to your solicitor. If you or someone you know has suffered an injury, please call our office on 3267 8066 to make an appointment.

Please note that when you suffer an injury limitation dates will apply to any possible claim so, if you would like to consider your options, please call our office urgently to reduce the risk of any limitation dates passing without action by you.

Peter Daley

Peter Daley was admitted to practice as a solicitor in the Supreme Court of Queensland and the High Court of Australia on January 31 1984. In August 1985 Peter established a legal practice in the Brisbane suburb of Banyo.

Call me today (07) 3267 8066.